An endearing story that will appeal to a wide age range, including preschoolers, new readers, and older kids who love the...

CLICK, CLACK, HO! HO! HO!

Cronin and Lewin are back with a Christmas story to add to their popular series starring the barnyard buddies from Click, Clack, Moo (2000) and its many successors.

Duck is all ready for Christmas Eve, as evidenced by the Santa hat he wears in a close-up view on the cover. Farmer Brown is preparing for Christmas inside the house, hanging up stockings for some of the animals (but alas, not for poor Duck). Outside, Duck has constructed a zip line running downhill from the barn to the house. Wearing his night-vision goggles, Duck zips over to the house and then tries to go down the chimney before Santa’s arrival. “HO! HO! Uh-oh. Duck is stuck.” In turn, each group of animals zips over to “go up and unstuck Duck” and gets stuck themselves before Santa breaks up the chimney bottleneck in a hilarious, sooty conclusion. A final wordless page shows Santa flying off again, wearing Duck’s night-vision goggles. This is a Christmas story that has it all: beloved characters, physical humor, and an original idea, as well as a short, funny text that effectively uses repeated phrases. Lewin’s loose watercolor illustrations with bold outlines are cozy in the interior scenes and magical in the outdoor settings, with midnight blue skies, dots of white snow, and a hazy full moon that shows off Santa and his reindeer.

An endearing story that will appeal to a wide age range, including preschoolers, new readers, and older kids who love the Click Clack crowd. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9673-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again.

WE'RE GOING ON A GOON HUNT

Hunt for a bear? That’s so yesterday.

On a spooky Halloween night, we’re hunting for…a green GOON. We’re not really scared. Let’s start in a pumpkin patch. We can’t go over or under it, so we’ll just go through it. We’ll do the same in other likely goon hideouts: a swamp, a tunnel, a forest, a graveyard, and, finally, a haunted house. In this atmospheric “petrifying parody” of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a dad and his four kids, dressed in Halloween finery and accompanied by their costumed pup, search for the elusive quarry. They become more frightened (particularly dad and pooch, even from the outset) as they proceed along the increasingly murky path—except for the youngest, unicorn-outfitted child, who squeals a delighted welcome to whatever creature unexpectedly materializes. As in the classic original, evocative sound effects (“Gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss!”) ring out as the quintet moves through each hazard. Unsurprisingly, the group locates the goon, forcing them to retrace their steps home in a frenzied hurry, odd noises and all. They reach safety to discover…uh-oh! Meanwhile, someone’s missing but having a ball! Even readers who’ve never read or heard about the bear expedition will appreciate this clever, comical, fast-paced take. The colorful line illustrations are humorously brooding and sweetly endearing, with the family (all members present White) portrayed as growing steadily apprehensive. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 74.6% of actual size.)

Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984813-62-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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