WHAT IS BABY GOING TO DO?

From the Flap Flap series

Nothing novel in this one, but babies will love knowing just what to do with it.

Match gear and garments with babies’ activities, hidden beneath each flap.

Each page in this board book asks readers to predict “What is baby going to do?” based on a description and a picture of baby in the described garb. A flip of the flap reveals the baby in the logical matching locale: going sledding, splashing in puddles, taking a bath. The text is simple and direct, the Q&A formula repeated with each page turn, the question always the same. Visually echoing the textual repetition, the illustrations follow a format. Each dressed-up baby is featured against a solid color background. All of the babies have enormous, round heads, and their minimalist facial features are the same; variations are seen in skin color and outfit. Every baby has a different skin tone, and a baby of color is featured on the cover. Perdomo makes use of swaths of simple, bright colors. Details are reserved for the space beneath the flap, showing family pictures on a dining room wall or tiny illustrated picture books. The layout of this book is familiar—a boon for little listeners, who will be able to manipulate the large, thick flaps with ease and who will enjoy the confidence that predictability provides. Companion title What Is Mommy Going to Do? follows the same patterned format.

Nothing novel in this one, but babies will love knowing just what to do with it. (Board book. 0-2.)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-71125-059-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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