Rev up your flux capacitors, because the space-time continuum will never be the same again! (Picture book. 4-7)

THE TROUBLE WITH TIME TRAVEL

Want to get back to the future? Better rectify the past—and fast!

One slip of the wrist, and the next thing Max knows her Frisbee has thoroughly smashed her 18th-century ancestor’s vase (the sole thing saved when the woman’s houseboat mysteriously sank). Facing the daunting prospect of fessing up, Max opts instead to rewrite the past by inventing a time-travel machine with the hope of pre-destroying the vase. But while time travel may be a science, it apparently isn’t an exact science, and Max finds herself to be the cause of the houseboat’s demise in the first place. At last she comes up with a new solution, but will her past self heed her future self’s warning? Although this is as nicely convoluted as any good time-travel yarn should be, older children should have no difficulty piecing together its coincidences and repercussions. What could have felt like a “Calvin and Hobbes” retread is instead fresh and new. Max’s path of destruction cuts through a swath of time, and it abounds in clever visual gags including the fates of the Sphinx’s nose and the Venus de Milo’s arms as well as the occasional futuristic robot uprising. Reds and blues suffuse the visual palette, and while Max, who presents white, and her hijinks read well, the eclectic, energetic art steals the show.

Rev up your flux capacitors, because the space-time continuum will never be the same again! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77147332-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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