From the Big Jobs, Bold Women series

This book’s on fire!

Good firefighters know they need to go with the Flo.

Flo, a firefighter with light brown skin and curly brown hair, knows that firefighters always have to be prepared. One night, when a call comes in to the station reporting a fire, Flo rouses her sleeping team of fighters, leads them as they quickly suit up, and gets the diverse team (and their Dalmatian) onto the firetruck. “Flashing lights shined. FLASH! FLASH! FLASH! FLASH! The loud siren whined. WOOOOOOOO! The bell went CLANG! each time it rang. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!” Arriving at the scene, the team works together to douse the flames, and Flo bravely breaks into the building to save a trapped pup and reunite it with its family. In the end, Flo and the team reward themselves by going back to bed. It’s an exciting story, and one that’s chock-full of descriptive words that will help build young readers’ vocabularies. Aiding that goal are the bold and bright digital illustrations, which have a sleek, classic vibe and make use of pops of red to keep young (and older) eyes dancing around the page. This one will be a popular choice among librarians, caregivers, and readers for years to come. Readers will be happy to have Flo in their homes day or night! (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This book’s on fire! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8234-5157-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022


The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016


A gentle outing for children who are ready for stories of everyday life rather than just objects to name.

A brief rhyming board book for toddlers.

Spurr's earlier board books (In the Garden and At the Beach, both 2012; In the Woods, 2013) featured an adventuresome little boy. Her new slice-of-life story stars an equally joyful little girl who takes pleasure in flying a new kite while not venturing far off the walkway. Oliphant's expressive and light-filled watercolors clearly depict the child's emotions—eager excitement on the way to the park, delight at the kite's flight in the wind, shock when the kite breaks free, dejection, and finally relief and amazement. The rhymes work, though uneven syllable counts in some stanzas interrupt the smooth flow of the verse. The illustrations depict the child with her mass of windblown curls, brown skin, and pronounced facial features as African-American. Her guardian (presumably her mother) is also brown-skinned. It is refreshing to see an African-American family settled comfortably in a suburban setting with single-family homes and a park where the family dog does not need to be leashed.

A gentle outing for children who are ready for stories of everyday life rather than just objects to name. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56145-854-7

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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