The absence of a well-told storyline makes the book feel static, but kids who love cars will enjoy this crazy compendium and...

ALL KINDS OF CARS

Can there be room for yet another picture book about cars? Apparently.

This Swedish import (by way of England) provides an original take on this overstuffed genre. The format could not be simpler. There is no connecting narrative, and text is limited to one- or two-word labels for a heady mix of fantasy and traditional vehicles of every conceivable type and purpose, most apparently arbitrarily arrayed on the pages. Bright flat colors and whimsical shapes dominate. The cars depicted feel like a stream of consciousness. Some are funny or silly: “marmalade car,” “sausage car,” “rocket car,” “chewing-gum car,” and, inevitably, “poo car.” A few are a bit obscure for most young children, such as “Mondrian car” or “Jules Verne car.” Some spreads are thematic, Richard Scarry–style, showing real vehicles associated with specific environments, including mining, hospital, agriculture, road-building, and an airport. The book includes an index to all the cars depicted and endpapers showing many of the vehicles in a cityscape. The book is apparently oblivious to the environmental implications of fossil-fueled transport—unless including the “greenhouse car,” the “chimney car,” and the “wood stove car” on the same spread as the “stressed car” is making a subtle point?

The absence of a well-told storyline makes the book feel static, but kids who love cars will enjoy this crazy compendium and will be engaged by the imaginative take on a traditional subject . (Informational picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-911171-01-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Truck lovers of any gender will find this title a treat, but the hyperfeminine companion is sadly restrictive.

LOVE IS A TRUCK

Richly textured board pages and a limited color palette distinguish this tribute to trucks.

The gray buckram cover is a delight to hold, while bright red endpapers promise excitement within. Beautifully designed using shades of red, black, white, and brown on matte pages, the whole package has a retro, letterpress feel. The first truck is a firetruck big enough for a brown-skinned child to straddle. Later pages feature construction vehicles, a flatbed trailer, and an ice cream truck. The slight text has a lyrical quality, though the occasional rhymes seem accidental. Relatively abstract concepts are casually introduced, “Love is a kid who lines them all up. Biggest to smallest, color by color.” On the final page the brown-skinned child is kissed goodnight while clutching a truck under a road-patterned blanket. The main character wears plaid bib overalls and has longish curly hair. Another child, also brown-skinned, with close-cropped hair, plays with the construction trucks, shares a treat from the ice cream truck, and offers a goodnight kiss. Unfortunately, a less gender-neutral companion volume, Love Is a Tutu, clearly aims for the ballerina market with an excess of pink. Together the two books assure little girls they can love both tutus and trucks. Unfortunately, they send a mixed message to little boys.

Truck lovers of any gender will find this title a treat, but the hyperfeminine companion is sadly restrictive. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-937359-86-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more