An inventive and charming bedtime story.

THE NICE DREAM TRUCK

It’s time to sleep; it’s time to dream.

When it’s time for bed, get ready for a visit from the Nice Dream Truck, bringing a nearly endless supply of possible dreams guaranteed to open the mind to wonders. Ferry employs lilting verse in second person to encourage little dreamers to choose their nighttime visions. They might be big dreams or small, funny or a bit scary—nothing is impossible. Perhaps there are puppies, princesses, dragons, whales, birthdays, magic, or music. You can be an astronaut or a rock star, a firefighter or a doctor. The use of the word nice in relation to these dreams does not match the enthusiasm and excitement of the descriptions, which are more fantastic than that prosaic word conveys. Barrager’s bright, busy illustrations carry out the visions with joyful delight in dreamscapes that float and soar. The title vehicle is decked out as an ice cream truck, replete with a giant strawberry cone on the top, and driven by a brown-skinned “girl with stars in her eyes” and purple pigtails who is ready to serve up your dream of choice. The ice cream metaphor is carried throughout the text and illustrations, comparing choices of scoops and toppings to selecting the dreams. The cast of dreaming children is diverse in race and gender, and they are completely comfortable with one another. It is soothing, uplifting, and definitely upbeat but perhaps a bit too sugar-sweet. Grown-ups will find much to discuss with their little ones about their dreams.

An inventive and charming bedtime story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-290783-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

  • Newbery Medal Winner

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more