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

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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Out in time for the chilliest season, this offers a solution to winter blues while adding to the growing list of yeti...

THE THING ABOUT YETIS

When the winter gets rough, what is a yeti to do?

Readers follow a nameless yeti accompanied by a stuffed toy yeti in a simple narrative. Yetis love several things about winter: waking up to quiet, snowy mornings, drinking hot chocolate, sliding down hills, building snow castles, frolicking in the snow and pretending to be Godzilla, ice-skating “Yeti style” (belly down). Nevertheless, it isn’t entirely grand for yetis in the winter, for they, too, experience winter blues, when hot-chocolate supplies have been depleted and their cold, wet fur won’t dry. And so they miss the warm summer: playing outdoors for long hours, looking for sea creatures, producing sea-monster beauty contests, building sand castles, and zipping down splashy slides, also yeti-style. They miss the summer nights and listening to the sound of crickets, wishing on shooting stars, and gazing at the hundreds of fireflies. Vogel, in his debut as both author and illustrator, contrasts the white, gray, barren winter spreads with lively green backyards, sunny beach days, and blue summer nights. The yeti’s expressions merit great attention, as do the nod to a yeti-fied version of a Sendak classic and such important scene-setting details as the radiators found in cold-weather homes.

Out in time for the chilliest season, this offers a solution to winter blues while adding to the growing list of yeti protagonists. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4170-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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A worthwhile message that just doesn't quite fly.

NO TWO ALIKE

A sadly lackluster paean to the premise that “no two snowflakes are alike, / almost, almost… / but not quite.”

Beginning with snowflakes, Baker then branches out to celebrate the uniqueness of other things, some found in nature, some manmade—nests, branches, leaves and forests. “No two fences, long and low, / no two roads—where do they go? / No two bridges, wood or stone, / no two houses— / anyone home?” His ultimate message, arrived at on almost the final page, is that every living thing is one of a kind. While it is certainly an important message, the very young may not make the leap from the animals and things that populate the book to humans, which make no appearance. Baker’s digital illustrations fill the spreads with simple shapes and soft, woodsy colors. The two red birds (rather like crestless cardinals) that fly through this wintry wonderland steal the show. Their expressions are adorable, their antics endearing and rather anthropomorphic—one skis, while the other tries to pelt a fox with snowballs. But they may not be enough to carry the flat text and lack of a story line. Indeed, the book depends on the rhymes and the cute birds to keep the pages turning.

A worthwhile message that just doesn't quite fly. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-1742-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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