Though these mice are rather tame in the mischief department, preschoolers get some good practice in counting down, adding...

MICE MISCHIEF

MATH FACTS IN ACTION

Ten adorable mice one by one abandon their chores for fun, allowing readers an introduction to the addition facts summing 10.

When the 10 mice awake in their oh-so-awesome triple-layer bunk bed, one immediately jumps into the fun: “9 mice tidy. / 1 mouse somersaults. 9+1=10.” The mice are differentiated enough so careful observers can see that the diligent mice are always the same ones. While eight mice cook breakfast, two juggle. Seven wash up, three spin the plates on needles while standing on spools of thread. And so the day continues with household chores sure to be familiar to preschoolers—hanging and folding laundry, scrubbing and mopping the floor, dusting and polishing. One by one, each is edged out by fun—balancing, swinging, building, etc., a math sentence on every page. Rossell’s delightful pencil, liquid acrylic and collage illustrations are the stars here. With small alphabet blocks, Legos, pencils and marbles as the mice’s playthings, little ones may imagine rodents in their own homes playing with the miscellany they have left lying around. While the math is there on every page, the learning is painless, as preschoolers will likely be more focused on the antics of the mice; repeat readings will keep exposing children to the math facts.

Though these mice are rather tame in the mischief department, preschoolers get some good practice in counting down, adding up to 10 and recognizing addition sentences. (Math picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2947-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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