Not exactly out of this world but a pleaser just the same.

THERE'S AN ALIEN IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

Earth friends are easy to make for this roly-poly, extraterrestrial cutie.

Fletcher pens the fourth in his interactive book series, this time invading his pages with a crash-landed ET. At first readers are encouraged to tell the space being to shove off, but pretty quickly it becomes clear that it’s just too adorable to send away like that. Mostly yellow, it looks like nothing more than a smiley face with antennae, its oversized head occupying more volume than its trunk, arms, legs, and tail combined. The undersides of its hands, feet, and tail are bright green. Repairing its damaged spaceship is out of the question, and attempts to launch it into space by having readers bounce, turn, and lift the book are fruitless. Does it belong here? Well, when readers stop to consider all the creatures that live on this planet (including a cameo by the author in the art), we can recognize that “we’re all weird and wonderful.” So the alien stays and even makes a friend with the star of There’s a Monster in Your Book (2017). The story makes mild overtures toward the idea of embracing our differences no matter our appearance, but that’s all superseded by the interactive elements. By now the series is treading familiar ground, but fans will find the combination of cute creatures and gentle moralizing a comfort.

Not exactly out of this world but a pleaser just the same. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12512-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A humorous rhyming romp in which the usual fairy-tale villains are friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

HAVE YOU SEEN MY BLANKIE?

Alice, the princess in the palace, loves her blankie, but it’s missing, so the search is on.

Her brother, Jack, used it as a curtain until a giant stole it to use as a hankie, until a witch flew off with it and made a cloak from it, until it was taken by…a cranky-looking dragon who happens to be snoring on it when Alice finds them. Alice is cranky herself but halts a brief blankie tug of war for a better solution: finding the dragon his own bedtime snuggly. It’s not easy. The dragon grows increasingly weepy, but he won’t snuggle with the witch’s “far too scratchy” cat, the giant’s feather pillow (it makes him sneeze), or Jack’s stinky socks. What can Alice do? A thorough search of the palace finally yields the dragon’s perfect snuggly and earns Alice a lifelong friend and protector. Muted mixed-media cartoon illustrations create rich backstories for each character combined with a sophisticated, smoothly reading rhyme scheme to produce a fast-moving friendship story that problem-solving young children will appreciate. Princess Alice, Prince Jack, and the giant present as dark-haired white characters.

A humorous rhyming romp in which the usual fairy-tale villains are friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0819-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Another engaging outing.

THERE'S A WITCH IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

When a witch crash-lands into this book, she’ll need help from readers in tidying up her messes.

The newest in Fletcher and Abbott’s Who’s in Your Book? series stars a mischievous, messy witch. With text instructing readers directly, children will use their “finger wands” to turn the witch into a cat and pop bubble bunnies. There’s even a spell that makes a hole in some pages, an orifice through which readers push excess slime. All of the fun ends with a cleaned-up book and a sleepover with little monsters. The built-in reader participation is a serious trademark, and most of the actions can be accomplished either one-on-one with an adult or in a group setting. Abbott’s illustrations hit on the cute side of spooky, the smiling, redheaded witch with classic green skin and a pointed black hat, a cauldron, and a broomstick. All of the backgrounds are simple bright colors, purples, pinks, blue, and orange, zeroing the focus in on the messy action. Careful observers will notice a torn blue hole drawn on the copyright page, illustrating the witch’s crash into the book. It’s tried-and-true rather than surprising at this point, but the simple and straightforward formula will certainly appeal to readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Another engaging outing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12515-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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