A playful and interactive introduction to Halloween.

HALLOWEEN KITTY

From the Wag My Tail series

Kitty wants to play with someone—but this Halloween, everyone is busy!

Kitty is looking for a playmate, but no one has time to play with her. Although she entreats a series of creepy-crawly creatures fit for Halloween—including a bat, a spider, and a crow—everyone is occupied doing what they do best. As the story proceeds, the side characters flap, spin, and caw their excuses, as Kitty’s face gets increasingly disappointed. Finally, Kitty asks a ghost—who, luckily, is always ready for a game of peekaboo, pun very much intended. Yoon’s endearing illustrations make use of a dark, rich palette appropriate for Halloween. The artfully placed text is set in a creatively spooky type, adding to the book’s holiday feel. The story itself is written in simple, playful language that makes excellent use of movement and onomatopoeia and invites children to respond to the illustrations well before they are able to decode words. The tab that moves the kitten’s sturdy, felt-covered tail at the top of the cleverly designed book is easy to use and will make both kids and adults giggle. The kitten’s increasingly sorrowful reactions are also a useful tool for talking to children about empathy and persistence, both evergreen lessons.

A playful and interactive introduction to Halloween. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4342-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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