A good choice before nap time or bedtime or as a complement to units on migration.

READ REVIEW

ALL EYES ON ALEXANDRA

Readers learn some nature facts as they follow intrepid Alexandra Crane and her feathered companions on a migratory trip to Israel.

The art is captivating: representational, tempera-and–colored-pencil images that include a thin stripe of red ink to outline each graceful crane. Every illustration is a beautiful complement to the text, whether showing international city skylines, vivid natural wonders, a brightly painted cable car, or a threatening eagle. The simple plot’s protagonist is identifiable from the rest by what appears to be a thin, bright-red ribbon adorning her neck. The text begins with this bold-lettered sentence: “Alexandra Crane had her head in the clouds.” Several members of Alexandra’s immediate and extended family express concerns over the young female’s tendency to favor adventure over regimen. However, right after this discussion, Alexandra sniffs the air and reports that she smells snow. The Crane family cheers when the older Saba Crane agrees that this is the signal for the birds to begin their annual flight to Africa, via Israel. The text uses gentle humor as it describes the flock’s preparatory preening. During the trip, family members continue to express concerns over Alexandra’s adventurous nature, and her intelligence and curiosity continue to help the flock. The ending, although sweet, is a flat repetition of the oft-repeated theme. Nonetheless, graceful text and exquisite artwork combine to create an appealing book.

A good choice before nap time or bedtime or as a complement to units on migration. (author’s note about Israel’s Hula Valley) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-4439-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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