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

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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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Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over.

NOISY TRACTOR

From the I Can Learn series

Little ones can explore a day in the life of a rubber-covered, audio-enabled tractor.

The “5 noisy parts!” promised on the cover are powered by a battery embedded in the back of the book, the compartment securely screwed shut. Youngsters are prompted by the text to press various parts of the tractor to make interesting sound effects, such as an engine starting then chugging, a horn, and tire noise on muddy or rocky terrain. A large, tractor-shaped die-cut hole in every page allows children to access the vehicle on every double-page spread but leaves the left-hand pages dominated by that tractor-shaped hole. Farm animals make their signature sounds via speech bubble (horses, chicks, and cows, to name a few) along with other critters offering suggestions about which buttons on the tractor to press. For additional play value, a ladybug and a caterpillar can be spotted on every double-page spread. Labels for most of the animals appear in a clear font along with other farm-centric vocabulary words: pitchfork, seedlings, trough. Elliott’s art is busy, but the simple, eye-catching patterns and graphically clean lines in bright colors will appeal to the audience. While this offering is perfect for toddlers, the extensive warnings in the fine print on the back of the book about what may happen if the button battery is swallowed should scare adults into being vigilant. Thankfully, there is an on/off switch allowing for toggling between a quiet and noisy reading experience.

Grown-ups be warned: Young fingers will delight in pressing the tractor’s buttons (and yours!) over and over. (Novelty board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-669-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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