Just sing the song; this sanitized variant is an additional purchase at best.

FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT

An unscary twist on the traditional Halloween song for first-time trick-or-treaters, illustrated with Magsamen’s signature simulated stitching designs.

There are no witches in the air in this book; the wind does not blow out the light. Instead the verse starts with “pumpkins giggling all day long,” which rhymes with “Let’s sing a song.” Continuing in this sweet mode, the second pumpkin says, “We shine so bright!” and the third one agrees, “Yes, we’re a beautiful sight.” On the fourth spread the rhythm breaks down. That pumpkin says, “We’re a little bit spooky and kooky too.” The final line stretches to rhyme: “We spread a lot of love, that’s what we do!” This revision misses the point of the original—to help young children feel brave as they learn about the mildly scary tradition of Halloween. Counting down, inherent in the original, is also eliminated in this version, though one could count the stars, smiling spiders, bats, and even hearts that decorate the pages. The cover, first page, and last page show five smiling pumpkins stacked willy-nilly. The three middle spreads show just one pumpkin each, with the fourth pumpkin rather arbitrarily sporting a witch’s hat.

Just sing the song; this sanitized variant is an additional purchase at best. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-30578-4

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Predictable text, a slight storyline, and cutouts that toddlers will use to turn the pages make this an acceptable...

BOO!

From the My Little World series

Six bug-eyed, smiling iconic Halloween characters are startled by mysterious shouts of “Boo!” but little ones won't be fazed.

Beginning with “Night owl, night owl, was that you? / Were you the one who shouted BOO?” the same question is repeated on each page, substituting the name of the Halloween symbol pictured. Young readers will soon know the response: “It wasn't me!” The eyes of the owl, cat, pumpkin, witch, spider, and wizard are nesting, die-cut holes of decreasing size. The character from the previous page is included on each double-page spread, providing visual continuity. The next-to-last spread shows all six characters worriedly asking, “Who's hiding out there in the night?” The final page turn reveals the obvious answer: “It's a ghost!” The placement of the word “Boo” changes on each page, which may confuse toddlers who learn to anticipate text through its consistent appearance. Despite the bright, almost garish illustrations in purple, black, orange, green, blue, and pink, the perennially smiling characters are static and flat; both witch and wizard are Caucasian.

Predictable text, a slight storyline, and cutouts that toddlers will use to turn the pages make this an acceptable introduction to the fun of Halloween. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68010-501-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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MY PUMPKIN

A trio of monsters enjoy Halloween festivities in this pumpkin-shaped board-book offering.

A fuzzy blue critter with horns, accompanied by a purple dinosaurlike creature and yellow beastie with pigtails, selects a pumpkin from a patch, carves it and takes it to a jack-o’-lantern contest. The rhyming text, with one line per page, is forced and doesn’t scan: “Pumpkin, pumpkin, big and steady, / Costumes and carving, time to get ready!” While the three central characters are appropriately toddler-friendly, monsters dressing up for Halloween is a bit of a conceptual stretch. The shiny orange foil cover and the bright orange pumpkins within are eye-catching, but the rest of the palette—pale blues, greens, grays and browns—causes some of the characters to fade into the scenery in Marts’ quirky cartoons. This slight slice of pumpkin pie will tempt few little trick-or-treaters. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

 

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-49332-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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