A charming adventure and excellent read-aloud tale—delightful.

BEEP! BEEP! SPECIAL DELIVERY

In this picture book, a creative little boy rides his truck, overcoming all obstacles to deliver an important letter.

Boarding his red toy truck with a determined expression, a boy with pale skin and brown curly hair clutches a letter. “Beep! Beep! Hurry! Clear the way! / I have a special job today,” he announces. Through many incidents (a bad traffic jam, a shortcut through the zoo, a broken bridge, a jungle with snakes and an alligator, gloppy mud), the boy and his truck prevail. The vehicle turns into a little red airplane or a boat or sprouts a plow to get through the mud. On every spread, a little brown monkey can be spied who, unknown to the hero, watches him carefully and often helps save the significant letter—a sweet love note to Mom. Ferreri (Huggle Wuggle, Bedtime Snuggle, 2019, etc.) gives readers a well-balanced mix of inventive escapades with the welcome reassurance of returning home to a warm cuddle. The story is told in rhyming, well-scanning couplets, compressed and powerful, often with effective sound effects: “Ka-splish, ker-splash”; “Glub glub, vroom vroom.” The expressive illustrations by McEachen (Plugged In, 2009) expand the tale with thoughtful details; for example, the monkey gives the boy a 10 for sticking the final landing. In a lovely touch, the boy’s backyard play area includes all the elements from his journey of the imagination, such as a sand mountain, toy alligator, plow truck, and airplane.

A charming adventure and excellent read-aloud tale—delightful.

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946101-96-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Spork

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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