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A dream of a bedtime book.

A little bulldozer worries that he won’t be able to go to sleep without Mama, but Papa performs the bedtime routine admirably.

Small yellow Dozer protests when blue-green, mustachioed Papa announces that it’s time for bed. “But Mama’s not here!” “She still isn’t back / from her work at the pier.” Nevertheless, Papa gives Dozer a bath and reads him a bedtime story (The 3 Little Rigs). When sleep proves elusive—even after Dozer tries counting jeeps—Papa sings Mama’s bedtime song. A fluffy, cloudlike border appears around the scenes of mixers (“weary from spinning their drums”), garbage trucks, tankers, and trenches, all snoozing away. When Papa forgets the ending, Dozer reminds him how it goes. Dozer drifts off to Dreamland and is fast asleep by the time Mama, a red forklift, comes in to kiss him good night. Murray’s flawless rhyme and Hilsaca’s gentle colors, rounded shapes, and adorable, kawaii-flavored dozers are a delight. The tale has the charm of Kate Dopirak’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Car (2018), illustrated by Mary Peterson, without the pressure to sing the whole book—and with the bonus of showing a loving, competent father at bedtime while Mama is at work.

A dream of a bedtime book. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9780593119044

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

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A perfect piece of treasure it is not, but shiver me timbers, it’s fun.

Two pirates and their parrot companion embark on adventures to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

Following Car, Car, Truck, Jeep (2018), Charman and Sharratt team up again for this swashbuckling, musical tale. The two buccaneers and their parrot spend a day at sea engaged in such maritime activities as scrubbing the deck and hoisting the sail along with quintessentially piratical chores like digging up buried treasure. At the end of the day—which culminates in a nonviolent walk across the plank—the two pirates return home. Charman’s rhyming text has a nice cadence, and thanks to the cover note to sing along to the tune of “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat,” it moves along at a nice clip. For the most part, the rhymes work neatly into the tune so that it reads easily the first time through. Sharratt’s black-outlined illustrations are boldly colored and eye-catching. The pirates themselves are not obviously gendered; one presents white and the other has light-brown skin. Most of the ocean creatures have anthropomorphized features—a mostly successful choice with the exception of the jellyfish and octopus, shown awkwardly with humanlike noses and smiles (and, oddly, eyebrows for the octopus). Overall, this one holds high appeal for little readers, and the nature of the singsong-y, rhyming text will make it a highly requested reread.

A perfect piece of treasure it is not, but shiver me timbers, it’s fun. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0319-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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From the Hello Genius series

Despite the happy ending, a story meant to serve as reassurance to little ones giving up their own pacifiers comes off as...

It’s time for little Duck to give up his beloved pacifier.

Like many tots, “Duck likes his pacifier,” and the first double-page spread shows him sucking on it happily. Mama Duck, though, believes he’s outgrown it: “Only in bed, sleepyhead,” she admonishes, plucking the pacifier from Duck’s beak as he sits down to a meal. On subsequent pages, she repeats this phrase and pulls away the pacifier as surprised, sad-looking Duck sits in his car seat and reads a book. Adult readers will wonder here—why wouldn’t Mama Duck just put away the pacifier instead of repeatedly snatching it from her wee one throughout the day? Then, surprise, Mama Duck announces that Duck doesn’t need his pacifier at all: “Not even in bed, sleepyhead.” Here, a pleased-looking Mama Duck is pictured with the pacifier hanging from a cord around her neck, out of little Duck’s reach. The following double-page spread features Duck wailing in his crib. Turn the page, and readers see that “soon enough, Duck stops crying…and falls asleep” with no pacifier and no comfort from Mama. When morning comes, he proudly announces: “I’m a BIG DUCK now!”

Despite the happy ending, a story meant to serve as reassurance to little ones giving up their own pacifiers comes off as harsh and decidedly unpleasant. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4795-5793-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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