Combining a quiet, nocturnal story with the ever popular subject of flying machines, this is a nifty bedtime book for...

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WHERE DO JET PLANES SLEEP AT NIGHT?

Jet planes, helicopters, hot air balloons, blimps—these are just some of the anthropomorphized flying machines that need to bed down at night.

Following two similar books on digging machines and steam trains, the author-illustrator team uses simple rhyming verses and deeply colored, full-bleed, double-page paintings to pull young readers into a dreamy world in which planes and other flying transportation have big friendly eyes and wide smiles. There’s also a cheery mouse cropping up in each spread to encourage readers to keep their eyes peeled. Even Air Force One makes an appearance. This deep-blue spread depicts the plane on the tarmac, dreaming about flying over Mount Rushmore. The mouse waits nearby in a long black limo. Many illustrations include a parent machine and a child one, as in the skywriting plane pages. The young plane sports a smiley face on its vertical stabilizer. The verse reads: “Where do skywriting planes sleep / after writing way up high? / Do moms read them bedtime stories / that are written in the sky?” In the purple sky, the words “ONCE UPON A TIME…” appear. The book ends peacefully in a bedroom filled with toy planes, the mouse, and a white human child asleep, ostensibly dreaming of all these aviation adventures.

Combining a quiet, nocturnal story with the ever popular subject of flying machines, this is a nifty bedtime book for budding aviators. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-55448-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Another breezy sail past things that go.

EVERYTHING GOES: BY SEA

B

From the Everything Goes series

Biggs ferries young viewers past floating fleets in his latest set of bustling cartoon surveys.

The voyage is sandwiched between sequences of big, wordless before and after panels. It begins when a vacationing family drives aboard a Center City ferry. After casting off, it navigates past themed gatherings of working boats and gigantic ships; craft of various sizes and historical periods driven by oars, motors or sails; houseboats and more. It docks in the wake of a climactic double gatefold in an entire harbor full of diverse vessels. Along the way, minidisquisitions on sails and propellers, cargo shipping, submarines, cruise ships and other nautical topics are delivered with plenty of sight gags and side business. Signal flags spell out “fish fry tonight,” and a fishing boat dubbed Archimedes demonstrates buoyancy and displacement, for instance. Biggs adds cutaway views as well as labels, jokes (“How long do you think the trip will take?” “About fifty-six pages”), review questions and occasional selfies to his full but not overstuffed scenes.

Another breezy sail past things that go. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-195811-3

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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An early-reader book to build on.

DIG, SCOOP, KA-BOOM!

An accessible, rhyming text drives this story-with-a-twist about a construction site, inviting new readers to hone their emerging skills.

Initial spreads depict a variety of vehicles engaged in digging, scooping, lifting and so on, detailing the activities of a construction site. Varied visual perspectives in the art draw the eyes to the different machines, but they can be disorienting—particularly in the worm’s-eye view on the spread reading “Digger’s teeth bite the ground,” which does not show the “[t]racks skid[ding] around” as indicated by the text. On the other hand, while some readers may wonder why the vehicles’ operators are not seen in the art, this omission is satisfyingly resolved in a long-shot spread that depicts a group of children playing with toy trucks in a sand pile. The vehicles are clearly miniversions of those from prior pages, and it’s refreshing to see both boys and girls and at least one child of color included in the group “working like a team.” From here, the narrative draws the children’s play to a conclusion by book’s end, providing readers with a fictive parallel to their own accomplishments in finishing the book: “Good work, crew!”

An early-reader book to build on. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-96910-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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