Lucky indeed are the kids who get to indulge in this splendid little wish-fulfillment daydream.

READ REVIEW

WITH ANY LUCK I'LL DRIVE A TRUCK

A delightful ode to trucks goes above and beyond the usual churning, wrecking, and pounding.

Cheery rhyming text declares from the first page, “At 2, when I could reach the seat, / I taught myself to make concrete.” And we’re off! Accompanied by a pig, turtle, and penguin, a small, hard-hatted white child recounts driving just about every truck, machine, and tractor imaginable. From backhoes to snowplows, the child and faithful animal crew are in every cab or assisting on the ground. All the favorites are here (bulldozer, dump truck, 18-wheeler, etc.), with some mechanical monsters lauded less often in books of this sort (hay baler, combine harvester, earthmover, etc.). By the end, the trucks are revealed to be mere toys, but a flash-forward to the future shows, “When I grow up…you know wassup. / With any luck, I’ll drive a truck.” Friend’s rhymes produce a one-of-a-kind mighty litany of machines. These words pair neatly with Rex’s art; his cartoonish style renders each vehicle with a meticulousness that will meet the approval of even the strictest vehicle enthusiast.

Lucky indeed are the kids who get to indulge in this splendid little wish-fulfillment daydream. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16956-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

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. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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Preschoolers enamored with construction equipment will enjoy this cheerful tale, which is simple enough for little ones just...

DALMATIAN IN A DIGGER

Four animals with heavy construction equipment arrive to build a treehouse as a surprise for a Dalmatian puppy.

The puppy awakens to loud, unexpected sounds and a foreshadowing glimpse of a big, metal scoop outside the bedroom window. The puppy joyously discovers an adult Dalmatian driving an excavator, called a “digger” in this British author/illustrator’s text. Just a couple of brief sentences describe the action of the digger, punctuated with creative sound effects incorporated into the illustrations in collage-effect letters. Another set of loud sounds precedes the arrival of a camel in a crane, followed by a duck in a dump truck, and a bear in a bulldozer. Each new piece of equipment has its own set of exuberant sounds that relate loosely to the machine’s function, such as “DUMP, SPLAT, CRASH” for the dump truck. The patterned text uses the machines’ sounds as a predictive device, with a dramatic page turn to reveal the next animal and corresponding construction equipment. Bold, movement-filled illustrations create a buoyant atmosphere, with jaunty animal characters and bright flowers and trees surrounding the construction site. There’s a bit of a logic gap between the heavy equipment and the concluding treehouse, as there are no carpenters shown building the actual house. Another small drawback is the gender bias in the four animal equipment drivers, as only one is identified as female; the puppy’s gender is not specified.

Preschoolers enamored with construction equipment will enjoy this cheerful tale, which is simple enough for little ones just transitioning into real stories. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62370-802-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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