Thomas is back with another slapstick adventure featuring Duck, Mouse and Pig (The Doghouse, 2008; A Birthday for Cow, 2008).
Duck finds a pumpkin and begins turning it into a jack-o'-lantern. In the process, Duck tumbles inside and ends up with the pumpkin stuck on his head. Duck tries to get help from Pig and Mouse, but they mistake him for a "PUMPKIN MONSTER!" Now Duck thinks there is a Pumpkin Monster and begins running. Mouse and Pig in turn believe the monster is chasing them, and they "Quick! Hide behind the barn!" Duck cannot see where he is going and runs into the barn, smashing the pumpkin to pieces. Mouse and Pig emerge from their hiding place and proclaim, "LOOK! Duck battled the Pumpkin Monster and WON!" Duck is confused but pleased with himself and decides to celebrate by making a jack-o'-lantern. The last page shows poor Duck—can you guess?—stuck inside his carved pumpkin with Mouse and Pig wondering where Duck is. Bright cartoon illustrations coupled with white speech balloons effectively tell this slight, silly tale of one mishap leading to another and another, but this lacks the manic energy of Thomas' other outings.
In the crowded field of Halloween picture books, this unfortunately falls flat. (Picture book. 2-4)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Thomas sticks to her forte--bright, bold artwork and comically harebrained protagonists--in this slapstick Halloween outing. When Duck leans too far over the pumpkin he's preparing to carve and gets stuck inside, the result is a walking, talking, web-footed Pumpkin Monster that scares Mouse, Pig--and Duck. Over-the-top humor and adorably oblivious characters should inspire repeat readings. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
PreS-K--Duck happens upon a pumpkin and decides to turn it into a jack-o'-lantern to surprise Pig and Mouse. He falls into the pumpkin, gets it stuck on his head, and goes in search of his friends to help him extricate himself. When he finds them, they think he is a pumpkin monster and run away. Duck crashes into the barn, smashing the pumpkin and leading his pals to believe that he has vanquished the monster. Duck makes a second jack-o'-lantern to celebrate and again ends up trapped inside. The plot is thin and the writing pedestrian. The computer-generated illustrations are flat and uninteresting. With so many wonderful stories featuring pumpkins, this one is a marginal purchase.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ[Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.