RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT

A toddler plays king of the world as he maneuvers his toy vehicles around the track. Not only does he report traffic, he creates it. Enhanced with a toy robot, baseballs, chess pieces, a teddy bear and pencils, the track is multilevel, varied and propped up with stacks of books and shoeboxes. Included are trucks, trains, helicopters, buses, fire engines and of course, traffic lights. All this is conveyed, in great majority, by the illustrations that offer a bird’s eye view of the workings of a child’s clever imagination. The rhyming tempo is simple and straightforward, covering several automotive modes of transportation and their trappings: “Red lights flash. / Rail cars roll. /At the booth, / pay a toll.” Simply put, this is geared toward the youngest of car-crazy kids. The artwork is lively and rendered in thick, eye-catching colors with active strokes that provide a sense of motion. Not exactly Go Car, Go, but, nonetheless, a blithe and youthful lap read. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-15-202582-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

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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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THE POTTY TRAIN

The latest addition to toilet-training literature takes the train analogy and rides the rails to success . . . one hopes. A toddler engineer is playing with his toy train and stuffed giraffe, lion and elephant (all diapered) when he feels a sudden urge. Opening the bathroom door leads him to the station where the Potty Train awaits with Conductor Lion beckoning him aboard. Giraffe doesn’t quite make it in time, but that’s okay—learning to ride takes a while. Sometimes there are leaks, and sometimes nothing seems to be happening at all. But the potty train keeps going, and soon, the little boy will be able to ride it all the time. As he disembarks with his stuffed friends, the toddler is surprised to see that they are all now wearing underwear. Young children will enjoy the inventiveness of Anderson’s acrylic illustrations, which incorporate everyday objects and toys into a fantasy train ride that marks the journey from diapers to “Undie Junction.” One page is potentially problematic, however, as it shows the train about to chug through a pipe tunnel. Nonetheless, train enthusiasts will toot “Chugga chugga poo-poo.” (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-2833-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2007

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