Thanks to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine, hopeful engineers will want to be able to identify the many different...

READ REVIEW

WHERE DO STEAM TRAINS SLEEP AT NIGHT?

Sayres and Slade move naturally from their truck lullaby, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? (2012), to this nighttime serenade to all things train.

In gentle scenes that reflect the colors of the setting sun or are lightened by the stars and moon under a dusky-blue sky, anthropomorphized trains prepare to bed down for the night. “Where do snowplow trains sleep / after all the tracks are clear? / Do their moms say, ‘Plow your toys, kids— / bedtime’s almost here’?” The rhyming verse and illustration pair to make clear to readers the job of each train: the monorail’s heavy-lidded eyes look toward the airport it services, and the subway rests under a brightly lit and busy city street reminiscent of Times Square. Trains include steam, passenger, freight, fire, high-speed, and breakdown trains as well as trolleys, and the ending suitably places most around a roundhouse under their blanket of stars…before a turn of the page reveals a boy and a girl asleep in their twin beds, their toy trains and tracks laid out in an otherwise pristine bedroom. Pair this with Kevin Lewis’ Chugga-chugga Choo-choo, illustrated by Daniel Kirk (1999), for more train fun.

Thanks to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine, hopeful engineers will want to be able to identify the many different types of trains, and their out-of-the-know adults will appreciate this inclusive primer. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-52098-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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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

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Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime.

ELBOW GREASE VS. MOTOZILLA

Who needs sanity when you’ve got family?

The title character of Elbow Grease (2018) and his family of Demolition Derby trucks return to face an all-new competitor. Once again, ’Bo is feeling inadequate next to his fan-favorite brothers. Despite Mel the Mechanic’s encouragement—he’s “the best at getting better”—he wants to be noticed. But instead, he notices someone unavoidable. Motozilla, the monster machine that turns trucks “into crunch sandwiches,” is currently undefeated. Trouble is, you’d need a truck with an array of skills to take him down. Thinking fast, ’Bo makes the wild and somewhat improbable suggestion that he and his brothers join together to form a single supertruck. Will it be enough to take down this bully? Quips, jests, and teamwork are the name of the game as pro wrestler Cena improves on his writing in this second outing, which demonstrates that individual glory falls in the face of concentrated cooperation. Rollicking, radical art portrays the battle in all its gritty glory, mud and twisted metal galore. Human crowds show a diverse range of races and genders, and the trucks’ keeper, Mel, has light-brown skin and wears glasses.

Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7353-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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