Floca (The Frightful Story of Harry Walfish, 1997, etc.) offers a great explication of the small trucks that airline passengers see scurrying around jets on the runways. In brightly painted illustrations and simple descriptions, he introduces each vehicle, explains what it does, and shows it in action, e.g., the truck called the baggage conveyor is shown hoisting suitcases into the belly of the plane. All five trucks’ duties point to a big finale when the plane takes off. Given preschoolers’ well-documented fascination with heavy machinery, this book will strike a chord with young air travelers, and answer the questions of older travelers as well. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-2561-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999


The leap-at-you color and elegantly stylized illustrations, resembling airbrushed linoleum-cuts, give this book an instant allure; the story—a noble tale of character and social leveling, mock drama and high mirth—more than meets the expectations aroused by that first impression. A retired pirate, out on a stroll in Central Park, is prompted by his memories to build a scale-model replica of his pirate ship and launch it in the park’s sailboat pond. All is shipshape until an old queen arrives and has her servant launch an outsized liner—the S.S. Uppity Duchess. The liner barges about, swamping the other boats in the pond, but at the pirate’s suggestion to slow her vessel, the queen opens fire on his ship. He responds with a broadside of his own and a great battle ensues; tiny cannonballs zing this way and that, people take cover, dogs and young children run riot, taxis on Fifth Avenue come to a halt. Then the queen calls a truce; she’s in need of a nap, and from that need—which the pirate shares—flows the notes of reconciliation. “Peace and tranquility once again reigned at the pond. Sails were set, dogs recaptured, and gentle laughter returned to the soft summer air of New York City.” Priest tells the story with dash and verve, whether in a turn of phrase or a line of art; it not only features a contemporary city with one of its great pleasures—the park—in full flower, but a realm in which the wish for a little rest outweighs the wages of war. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-90505-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999


cannoli cream off your fingers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Transporting us back to a time when cars had fins, eyeglasses had points, and women wore high heels to go shopping,

Cocca-Leffler (Mr. Tanen’s Ties, 1998) has crafted a perfectly simple and engaging story out of a day spent shopping. The narrator lives on a street that’s on the bus route to the big city of Boston, and all the neighborhood kids get to know Bill the bus driver. One Saturday, Mom and her two daughters take Bill’s bus to Filene’s Basement, where they hunt for bargains and cap the day with ice cream. Another Saturday, Bill takes them to the Italian North End, where they visit the butcher and the baker and vegetable stands, ending with delicious cannoli, which they eat on the bus ride home. The last cannoli always goes to Bill, who calls the trio his "cannoli girls." The acrylic-on-gesso illustrations fill the pages to their edges with cheerful cityscapes, figures, and architecture alike, rendered in bright, affectionate hues. Warm, winning, and as satisfying as licking

cannoli cream off your fingers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56397-723-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2000

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