A just-scary-enough romp for the brave.


A Goblin Moon on Halloween night brings the goblins out to frolic.

As the moon rises, a costumed family—turbaned fortuneteller mom, cowboy dad, toddler bear, and pigtailed pirate (eye patch askew)—sets off trick-or-treating. The creepy shadows cast by the moon clearly have the little buccaneer on alert (the accompanying picture’s dark, but nothing’s too scary, and adults are close). “Better get home now / and snug up inside. / The goblins are coming— / we better go hide!” From beneath the protection of covers, the young pirate peers out to see the goblins frolicking. But when they disappear from sight, the protagonist starts seeing and hearing things inside the house, and readers will spy the adorable little green monsters as they hide from the searching flashlights of the adults. Emboldened, the kid tells the goblins to go back to their moon, but perhaps they need an incentive? A trail of Halloween candy leading away from the house just might do it. And perhaps they’ll offer something in return? Rogers’ gouache and digital illustrations are magical when depicting the night outside, with sinuous trees in deep blues and greens highlighted in the white light from a gently smiling moon. And while the premise of monsters in the house that are invisible to adults is a creepy notion, the goblins are delightfully fun and not at all scary.

A just-scary-enough romp for the brave. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-279229-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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


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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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.


From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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