Brassy’s is a story reminiscent of Little Toot and The Little Engine that Could. Breathing fresh life into a classic scenario, Brassy is a new little fire engine with a big smile, a brass bell and a lot of moxie. He is well taken care of by the fire folk at his station and, in return, whenever there’s an emergency, Brassy is right there pumping water with all his might. Years pass, times change and, though Brassy holds a special place in Captains Bill’s heart, he is sent to a smaller station and replaced by a sleeker, bigger model. Unused, draped with cobwebs, Brassy misses his old life very much. One day, however, the city is in imminent danger and only Brassy can save it. Miller has a talent for painting faces and gives just enough detail to portray the town growing steadily into a city. Brassy’s wide eyes and expressions belie much of the mood of the story, which is based on Smith’s 1990 original. Brassy will gladden hearts with his enduring loyalty and pluck. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-76135-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

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Extremely simple and rather sweet.


From the Bulldozer series

Bulldozer is worried about what to give his friends for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Dump Truck is carrying, Digger Truck is stringing, and Crane Truck is lifting—all in service of decorating for Christmas. But Bulldozer is on the side, surrounded by cats, worrying. He has not a single gift for his friends. What can he do? He sees a tire half buried in the snow and wonders what other treasures might be there. He starts to dig, and he hits something…but it turns out to be junk. He keeps on digging and finds something else: “more junk.” He keeps digging and digging. The piles grow larger, the sky gets darker, and Bulldozer’s hope fades. But then he thinks he sees something through the snow. He pokes the pile of junk this way and that. He adds bits and pieces. As his friends call out to him that it’s quitting time, Bulldozer puts last touches on his gift. He moves aside to reveal his creation to his friends, and all are pleased with the gift. The little yellow Bulldozer with his entourage of animal friends is a likable character whose plight children will relate to and whose noncommercial solution is a model for creative youngsters to take as inspiration. Best for wrapping a message of giving within a truck-loving package full of sound effects. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Extremely simple and rather sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3820-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Plucky animals rescue stuck truck. As the bright blue truck with headlights like eyes rattles down the country road, all the animals greet it. A big yellow dump truck comes zooming by; after passing Blue, Dump gets stuck in a patch of mud. Blue tries to help, but he gets stuck as well. Lickety split, the cow, the horse, the sheep, the chicken—all the farm animals—pitch in to free the two vehicles. They can’t quite budge the trucks until the big green toad (pictured knee-deep in mud in a muscleman pose) joins the team. Out pop the trucks. Dump learns a valuable lesson—“a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends”—and Blue gives the animals a lift back to the farm. Schertle’s rhythmic text—accented on the page by judiciously applied colored inks—fairly chants itself. McElmurry’s vibrant illustrations, in gouache on watercolor paper, recall Cooney and Burton in palette, line and design. This crisp rendition of a familiar scenario is sure to become a storytime favorite. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-15-205661-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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