WAKE UP ENGINES

After having glided into slumber to the soothing cadence of Good Night Engines (2003), it’s time to get young motors humming and rumbling in its companion story. It’s a brand new day so, “Fasten seatbelt, drive away.” The acrylic paintings portray scenes of a little boy moving through his morning with a toy vehicle always at hand, while images of the world awakening appear on alternating pages. The youngster pushes his cars along a diminutive highway, while outside cars and trucks maneuver through traffic to the tune of “Honk! Honk! And Brmm! Brmm!” He’s not old enough to hop the school bus that stops outside his window, but he’s imaginative enough to envision helicopters dipping through tall buildings and jets zooming to lift-off. Iwai again delivers colorful visions of a boy’s view amid a world crammed with vehicles. Brimming with tantalizing motor sounds and with just the right amount of rhyming text, this will get young ones’ mornings off to a zippy start. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 16, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-618-51736-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007

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THE GOODNIGHT TRAIN

From the The Goodnight Train series

As The Goodnight Train traverses la-la land, the rhythmic chugging and the cadenced clickety-clacking will eventually lull even the most stalwart child to sleep. So, “Find your sleepers! Grab your teddy.” The train sets forth over hill and dale, puffing and huffing, embraced by somnolent shades of blue and purple. Upward through the tunnel, the train rockets around the curve and toward its destination, choo-chooing all the way as it passes over a flat plain and through a field of sheep. Gradually, the train begins to slow. At last the little locomotive pulls into the depot and its occupants sigh and close their sleepy eyes. The illustrations depict welcoming creatures of all sorts, children and skunks alike. There is bountiful fun to be had in the journey’s creamy hues, painting fantastic hypnagogic images such as a turtle shoveling cinnamon rolls and a mermaid applying night cream. The cheerful and rhyming text paired with the frothy art creates an enchanting trip to dreamland. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-15-205436-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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THE POTTY TRAIN

The latest addition to toilet-training literature takes the train analogy and rides the rails to success . . . one hopes. A toddler engineer is playing with his toy train and stuffed giraffe, lion and elephant (all diapered) when he feels a sudden urge. Opening the bathroom door leads him to the station where the Potty Train awaits with Conductor Lion beckoning him aboard. Giraffe doesn’t quite make it in time, but that’s okay—learning to ride takes a while. Sometimes there are leaks, and sometimes nothing seems to be happening at all. But the potty train keeps going, and soon, the little boy will be able to ride it all the time. As he disembarks with his stuffed friends, the toddler is surprised to see that they are all now wearing underwear. Young children will enjoy the inventiveness of Anderson’s acrylic illustrations, which incorporate everyday objects and toys into a fantasy train ride that marks the journey from diapers to “Undie Junction.” One page is potentially problematic, however, as it shows the train about to chug through a pipe tunnel. Nonetheless, train enthusiasts will toot “Chugga chugga poo-poo.” (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-2833-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2007

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