Captain Underpants look-alikes return with a caper sure to tickle preschool funny bones at storytime.

WHERE'S MY TUSHY?

Playful rhyming couplets reveal the necessity of backsides.

You’d think it’d be cushy to write about tushies. You’d think it’d be easy to please. Instead, it’s a chore. The effort’s a bore, and rhyming takes real expertise. Aronson pulls it off in this jaunty picture book enlivened by humorous cartoons featuring chubby, shmoo-like figures dressed in an amazing variety of underwear. When all the tushies in town decide their lives are “too tough” and take off for vacation at the beach, people discover just how important these body parts are in their lives. Their clothes won’t stay up, and they can’t sit down. There’s no real narrative arc here. The rumps run away, romp in the sun and then return, while their owners worry and wonder where they’ve gone. The couplets, often set as quatrains, sit directly on the illustrations, many of which are double-page spreads that expand the story. Stevanovic’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations, digitally enhanced, show unhappy townsfolk making do with pillows and suspenders while detectives and police carry on their investigation and the runaways enjoy the shore. A wraparound cover sets the stage, depicting the bums escaping into the night.

Captain Underpants look-alikes return with a caper sure to tickle preschool funny bones at storytime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1197-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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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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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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