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

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. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Wormell (Blue Rabbit and the Runaway Wheel, see above) seamlessly blends landscape and playscape in this tale of a wonderfully catastrophic train wreck. As if it’s not bad enough that blubbery Mrs. Walrus, Mr. Bear, and Mrs. Elephant forcibly wedge themselves into the train’s tiny cars for a shopping trip into town, on their return they’re carrying 600 sardines, 15 loaves of bread, pots of honey, and a mountain of fresh fruit. “ ‘It’s just a matter of balance,’ ” Mrs. Elephant cheerfully assures the worried conductor. Indeed it is—until a bee crawls up Mrs. Elephant’s trunk, prompting a monumental sneeze. Groceries are scattered everywhere. What to do? Invite everyone to a picnic! Rather than his usual polychrome woodcuts, Wormell creates soft-edged, colored-pencil drawings here for a “younger,” softer look, depicting a simply carved wooden train sturdily pulling three hilariously overloaded cars. Afterward, willing trunks and flippers reset the tumbled cars onto their tracks, and off the train chugs, leaving the bloated picnickers strewn about like beached whales. Ending on a peaceful, satiated note, this explosive episode makes a first-rate entry in the annals of picture-book sneezes. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83986-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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From the Everything Goes series

A glory ride for young car, truck, train, bus and trolley devotees.

In a visual feast for fans of wheeled vehicles large and small, Biggs presents a series of high-density street scenes done in an amiably rumpled cartoon style.

Driving in from the ’burbs to a generic metropolis, a lad and his dad gloss each big, double-page spread—“ ‘Do trucks work the same way as cars?’ / ‘Many of them do. Trucks also have jobs, like cars’ ”—as they glide through heavy traffic, past a construction site and under an elevated highway. They wait for fleets of bikes and motorcycles to pass and park at last near a train station to pick up Mom. Along with sparely labeled close-up or cutaway views of a car, a bicycle, a big truck, a subway station, an RV and other specimens, the author sets up the family reunion at the end with a giant double-gatefold aerial view of an entire neighborhood packed with traffic, pedestrians, local businesses and signs, each one individually distinct. Jokey side conversations (one firefighter tells another, "There's no fire. It's just a cat"; his companion asks, "Should we get some milk?") play off more serious and informative dialogue. A diagram of a car is accompanied by a disquisition on the relationship between a car battery and the motor, as well as the fact that "[a]n electric car uses batteries and electric motor. No gas!"

A glory ride for young car, truck, train, bus and trolley devotees. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-195809-0

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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