Amiable and encouraging, and too innocent to give even a thought to snow stopping something in its tracks: school.

HENRY GOES SKATING

From the Everything Goes series

Almost everything goes in this latest installment of the Everything Goes early-reader series based on the picture-book series of the same name by Brian Biggs.

It’s snowing, so when a bus gets stuck on an icy road, it is going to have to wait for the tow truck to come. Otherwise, everything does tootle along in this typically mild and kindly outing, an earliest of early readers for those just starting to get their teeth into reading. There is plenty of necessary repetition in the simple text: “ ‘Look, Henry. Horses!’ says Henry’s mom. ‘Police horses,’ says Henry. ‘One is brown and one is white. And one is brown and white.’ ” It combines with enough unusual words (taxis, Zamboni) and constructions (such as the alternating use of  “Henry says” and “says Henry”) to make readers work for the prize of the last page. But as is also typical of these books, the illustrations are in the driver’s seat, literally and figuratively. The book is chockablock with vehicles, as Henry and his parents take a little road trip to the city from the suburbs to go to a skating rink (“Zamboni!”). The illustrations have an ease that keeps eyes flickering between word and image.

Amiable and encouraging, and too innocent to give even a thought to snow stopping something in its tracks: school. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195821-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off.

TINY LITTLE ROCKET

This rocket hopes to take its readers on a birthday blast—but there may or may not be enough fuel.

Once a year, a one-seat rocket shoots out from Earth. Why? To reveal a special congratulatory banner for a once-a-year event. The second-person narration puts readers in the pilot’s seat and, through a (mostly) ballad-stanza rhyme scheme (abcb), sends them on a journey toward the sun, past meteors, and into the Kuiper belt. The final pages include additional information on how birthdays are measured against the Earth’s rotations around the sun. Collingridge aims for the stars with this title, and he mostly succeeds. The rhyme scheme flows smoothly, which will make listeners happy, but the illustrations (possibly a combination of paint with digital enhancements) may leave the viewers feeling a little cold. The pilot is seen only with a 1960s-style fishbowl helmet that completely obscures the face, gender, and race by reflecting the interior of the rocket ship. This may allow readers/listeners to picture themselves in the role, but it also may divest them of any emotional connection to the story. The last pages—the backside of a triple-gatefold spread—label the planets and include Pluto. While Pluto is correctly labeled as a dwarf planet, it’s an unusual choice to include it but not the other dwarfs: Ceres, Eris, etc. The illustration also neglects to include the asteroid belt or any of the solar system’s moons.

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-18949-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: David Fickling/Phoenix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A delight for car and truck fans young and old.

TOW TRUCK JOE

From the Tow Truck Joe series

Don’t cry over spilled milk. Add crumbled cookies and freeze to make Cookie Crunch ice cream with your friends instead.

Tow truck Joe and his pup, Patch, roam Drivedale honking “Hello!” and helping vehicles (all are anthropomorphic) in trouble. They charge batteries and replace flat tires until “SCREECH! BANG! CRUNCH! CRASH” An accident! It appears the milk truck was going too fast and hit a cart full of cookies. What a mess! Traffic is at a standstill, but Joe, Patch, and all the other trucks help out. The cement mixer is ready. The bulldozer cleans up the cookie crumbles, and the grocery truck supplies sugar and vanilla. Patch adds milk from the milk truck, and the mixer stirs everything up. An ice cream truck offers to freeze the mixture. Voila! Cookie Crunch ice cream! Slowly and carefully, all the vehicles follow Joe and Patch to the garage to end the busy day with scoops of their delicious ice cream creation. Related in an easy, conversational rhyme with clear and bright illustrations, this story is a good read-aloud, but it’s an even better one-on-one read. Children and adults need to pore over the written puns in the illustrations. Signs such as “BIG WHEEL COOKIES—THEY TASTE WHEELY GREAT” and “KNEAD FOR SPEED BAKERY” are too good to miss.

A delight for car and truck fans young and old. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-358-05312-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more