Grab a helmet and a caregiver or friend, then—go! (Board book. 2-4)

READ REVIEW

GO, BIKES, GO!

From the Vehicles in Motion series

Over 50 bikes of all sizes, shapes, and purposes wheel across and even off the 20 pages of this compact board book.

Little ones will study the busy illustrations of exotic versions of this iconic means of transportation. An invitation to count—“Old bikes. / New bikes. / Built-for-two bikes. // Bikes with three wheels. / Bikes with four. / Doesn’t that bike need one more?”—is paired with a picture of a brown-skinned, helmet-wearing child popping a wheelie and followed by a dog pushing the bike’s missing front wheel. The same dog can be found on every spread, and every bike rider is wearing a helmet. The bikes are historical (a pennyfarthing high-wheeler) or fantastical (bikes disguised as a ladybug, shark, and even eyeglasses). One even has eight shoes spaced around each wheel instead of conventional tires. All are recognizable as bikes, even by toddlers still limited to scoot bikes or tricycles. The colorful and active graphics clearly convey the excitement, freedom, and joy bike riding brings to this multicultural cast. Two minor quibbles: The details are small, limiting enjoyment to children with fairly well-developed eyesight; and unfortunately, the black tires of a fairly magnificent pony-bike are lost against a dark background and the training wheels on that bike are distorted. Otherwise, it’s ready to roll.

Grab a helmet and a caregiver or friend, then—go! (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-220-4

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This clumsily executed extended dance metaphor doesn’t make the cut.

FLAMINGO FLAMENCO

Everybody can dance? Silly wordplay delivers a not-so-subtle message to value each person’s unique moves.

The brief story plays off the similar pronunciations of “flamingo” and “flamenco” but does not confine itself to that dance form, introducing seven different sorts of animal and an equal number of different dances. On the versos of the ensuing sequence of six double-page spreads, hippos dance hip-hop, wallabies waltz, tigers tap, a bear performs ballet, “camels can cancan in a long chorus line,” and sloths slow dance; a flamboyant flamingo on the right side of each spread outshines each with flamenco moves. Unfortunately, the book itself does not shine. A design decision to introduce the animals in a different order than originally shown is confusing, and the animals seem to have been chosen for their alliterative possibilities and improbable dance skills rather than for genuine animal characteristics. Toddlers unfamiliar with dance styles will not appreciate the flamingo’s contortions, much less the other animals’ moves, especially in their dance costumes. The rhyming text lacks rhythm; words and pictures don’t always match. For example, one bear is shown while the text reads “bears.” The ending, with the animals changing partners and the lines “We each have a dance, / so dance well your part. / Dance with all of your heart… / …even if it’s not the flamenco,” lands with something of a thud.

This clumsily executed extended dance metaphor doesn’t make the cut. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64170-235-5

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Familius

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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