For fans of the series, more of the same.


Pinkalicious goes to the beach.

All decked out in her signature color, Pinkalicious is happily beachcombing when she picks up a large shell, and out tumbles a pink-haired, aqua-finned (and bra’ed) miniature mermaid. The creature introduces herself as Aqua and explains that she is a merminnie, “a smaller, rarer species of mermaids.” Pinkalicious’ response is predictable: “WOWEEE!” Toting her new find in her beach bucket, the little girl carries her to her family’s (pink) umbrella and dumps her out to show her off. Aqua’s reaction is also predictable: she wants to go back home. Disregarding her captive’s desires, Pinkalicious and her little brother, Peter, build a big sandcastle for Aqua; the ungrateful thing still wants to go home, but the children distract her with a snack and a game of minigolf. After more mild adventures, the children finally put her in the ocean—but it turns out that Aqua is the star merminnie of the aquarium nearby. The children’s cruelty is never interrogated, beyond Aqua’s carping at being carried in the beach bucket. Kann’s digital collages feature stiff characters with often unnaturally long arms and disproportionately tiny feet; when they are not smiling vapidly, their mouths form little O’s of consternation. The text is riddled with exclamation points, as if hoping to make up in enthusiasm what it lacks in craft.

For fans of the series, more of the same. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-233016-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.


With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.


Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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