As they wind through towns, down country roads and along the highway, they see construction crews doing all sorts of jobs,...

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ROAD WORK AHEAD

On the car ride to visit Grandma, a young boy is delighted to see many trucks and construction workers doing their jobs.

As they wind through towns, down country roads and along the highway, they see construction crews doing all sorts of jobs, from jackhammering roads and pruning trees to changing streetlamp bulbs and fixing water pipes. As his unflappable mother drives (smile pasted on her face), the lucky boy even gets to watch as they put up telephone poles: “Left lane closed / for drilling holes. // Watch out now, / they’re putting up poles.” Ho’s brightly colored artwork is tailor-made for her audience. While her scenes are visually packed with people, vehicles and activity, all are rendered with basic shapes and colors and lack the distracting details that would overwhelm young children. Suen’s sparse rhyming verse leads readers through the busy scenes and uses simple vocabulary that suits both the youngest listeners and those just beginning to read. Throughout, kids can pick out funny things “hidden” within the pictures—people and animals that make repeated appearances. And while the focus may be on construction trucks, many community vehicles are in evidence as well.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01288-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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It’s not the most original of plots and somewhat lacking in substance, but the message is clear: true friendship can...

IN THE WOODS

It’s springtime in the woods, and all the animals are buzzing with excitement for the wedding of Red the fox.

While making decorations for the big event, two penguins help to solve problems that beset three of their friends. In the first short chapter, they encounter Olly the horse, who is distraught because all his friends have become unicorns and flown away. With speedy ingenuity, the penguins and other animals transform the forlorn horse into a magical beast, using branches for wings and a cone for a horn to help Olly become a unicorn and fly away. In the second chapter, Lionel the lion has lost his mane, and the friends construct an acceptable substitute out of flowers and branches. In the third minichapter, disaster befalls Red: the wedding cake she spent all week making has been stolen by Wolf. The friends pool their supply of woodland foods to make a new cake, “big enough to feed the whole wood.” Each minichapter ends with the phrase “Be happy now!” Rowe’s flat, limited-color silkscreen-style illustrations create an overly busy impression on the page, and the erratically placed text makes it sometimes difficult to follow the narrative.

It’s not the most original of plots and somewhat lacking in substance, but the message is clear: true friendship can overcome any obstacle. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-500-65105-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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