The clever approach to an age-old bedtime issue will help strengthen vulnerable little minds with some resilient thinking.

GOOD DREAM, BAD DREAM / SUEÑO BUENO, SUEÑO MALO

THE WORLD'S HEROES SAVE THE NIGHT! / ¡LOS HEROES DEL MUNDO SALVAN LA NOCHE!

Enlisting the powers of some awesome heroes transforms a child’s nightmares into commanding dreams in this bilingual flight of the imagination.

Julio’s nightly search for monsters lurking in his room is interrupted by his father, who reminds the boy that “for every bad dream, you can have a good dream to help defeat your fears.” Papa lists all the conquering heroes for each scary creature. A mighty hunter will take care of a snarling mammoth, a crafty falcon will catch a scary scorpion, a strong wrestler will defeat a roaring jaguar, and so on. Julio’s confidence and assertiveness grow with each new dueling scenario Papa introduces. The bad dreams are presented in the active, anime-style digital scenes as ghoulish, roaring, teeth-gnashing, eye-popping creatures. Plucked from many world mythologies, the characters are rendered in dark, opaque colors with the occasional explosion of red and yellow, and they are drawn with sharp, jagged lines, making each tableau jump off the page. Children will notice how Julio’s expression grows increasingly stern, bold and intimidating, as well as how his garb and even skin tone change to match the various legendary heroes he emulates. English text appears over Spanish in every spread, with key words printed in uppercase letters.

The clever approach to an age-old bedtime issue will help strengthen vulnerable little minds with some resilient thinking. (Bilingual picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59702-103-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Immedium

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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The lack of adventure and the pat, pedestrian resolution makes this an ineffective if well-intentioned appeal to get past...

SNOW BEAST COMES TO PLAY

Unfortunately for one disgruntled snow beast, there isn’t a whole lot to do on the mountain aside from snoring or comparing relative foot size (big, bigger, biggest).

Tobogganing all the way down on his prodigious rump, Snow Beast lands in town to start his search for a friend. Snow Beast is as large as a three-story building, and his voice is just as huge. Despite having the conversational skills of a caveman—“SNOW BEAST WANT PLAY!”—Snow Beast appears to know a lot about the rules of friendship, such as always starting with “Hello,” and “to try to join in.” Nevertheless, Snow Beast’s overtures of friendship are rejected by everyone—from the five o’clock shadowed snow-shoveler to the shrieking Christmas-light committee. Penny, a little white girl who loves snow but knows enough to be wary of snow beasts, screeches and runs after his bellowed, “HELLO!!” But when Snow Beast starts crying, Penny, despite her dog’s advice to the contrary, invites the beast to play. And that’s about it, as far as plot is concerned. Gosier’s spare illustrations evoke the animation style of the 1950s. Speech bubbles capture the scant lines of dialogue as well as every screech, shriek, and howl of the terrified townsfolk.

The lack of adventure and the pat, pedestrian resolution makes this an ineffective if well-intentioned appeal to get past the unreliability of first impressions. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-519-5

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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A funny read-aloud with (mostly) chuckle-inducing illustrations.

GINNY GOBLIN IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPEN THIS BOX

She may not be allowed to, but the eponymous green-skinned, overalls-clad monster thinks of many magnificent, creative ways to open that box before dinnertime.

Ginny’s large head sports huge, white eyes with long, dark lashes, a cheerful, two-fanged grin, and two pointy ears—one of which is torn. In other words, she is undoubtedly a nonharmful sort of goblin. After the text makes it clear that Ginny is not allowed to open the box until dinnertime—but “she really wants to know what’s inside”—it asks, “What if we put the box way up on a shelf?” Next, readers learn the many (often absurdly hypothetical) things that Ginny Goblin is not allowed to do in order to reach the box, including using a rope and a grappling hook or building a catapult or poking at “scaly, scary serpents” in a “murky moat.” Needing to wait until dinnertime strikes a familiar chord with this age group and becomes an appropriate refrain. Lighthearted, cartoony artwork mostly supports the text’s tongue-in-cheek tone, leading to laughs about the outlandish suggestions. However, slapstick images of Ginny’s body slamming against a stone tower and, later, Ginny clobbering serpents may strike many as unnecessarily violent. Suspense builds when Ginny temporarily turns her attention away from opening the box. The closure of knowing what’s inside is supplemented by a punchline well understood by children who have been given boundaries by adults.

A funny read-aloud with (mostly) chuckle-inducing illustrations. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-76415-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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