This colorful addition to the board-book shelf gives toddlers just learning to talk much to talk about.

CARS AND TRUCKS

This simple board book and its three companions focus on picture recognition and learning everyday words.

An equal number of boys and girls take the wheel in this illustrated list of vehicles. Some of the children are even brown-skinned with curly dark hair. Curry's characters sport the same round heads and noses as Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang, and the girl driving the school bus even looks an awful lot like Peppermint Patty. Curry's palette is slightly off from primary colors, with pink undertones and surprising tints. Still, iconic elements keep them recognizable. Neither the taxi nor the school bus is yellow, for instance, but their shapes are typical. Trains, Boats, and Planes expands on the transportation theme with more unusual choices, a couple a bit problematic. Steam trains are in widespread use, even in England, where Curry lives, and most Americans would say “light rail” instead of “express train.” It is also redundant to refer to “An underwater submarine.” Zoo Animals and Farm Animals follow similar formats, with one animal described by one adjective per page. In the latter, the sheep and pig are paired with their babies, and the book ends with a white farmer driving a tractor towing a trailer.

This colorful addition to the board-book shelf gives toddlers just learning to talk much to talk about. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0199-6

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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