A simple and entertaining Spanish word-builder for English-speaking youngsters.




With rhyming text and flaps to lift, little ones are introduced to six Spanish words related to things that go.

Each double-page spread introduces a vehicle, six in all: tren (train); camión (truck); carro (car); barco (boat); avión (airplane); and metro (subway). The left-hand page gives the clues: “CLICKETY-CLACK, / CLICKETY- CLACK. / You hear it racing / down the track. / It takes you far, / then home again.” The recto has a flap with: “ALL ABOARD! / Come ride the,” and when little hands lift the flap they will find that (hopefully) yes! They were right: It’s a train. The trick here is that the word is presented in Spanish—“tren”—and is then defined underneath in smaller print: “Tren means train.” The other five words are presented in the same manner. The cartoon illustrations in the margins around the stanza on verso also give clues about the hidden vehicle, such as tracks and a whistle for the train, or a rear-view mirror, a steering wheel, and traffic lights for the car. The last spread presents the six vehicles with their names and a pronunciation guide. Non–Spanish-speaking adults should be aware that not all Spanish speakers refer to these vehicles by the same names, though all of the words here are correct.

A simple and entertaining Spanish word-builder for English-speaking youngsters. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2668-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: yesterday

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Other books cover the same ground. Still, the interactive possibilities, salient information, and predictable text make this...


Active toddlers will quickly figure out how to make the interactive wheels on this board book spin in tandem.

Initially part of a dump truck, with successive page turns, the raised wheels embedded in two die-cut circles cut through each page become part of a steamroller, excavator, concrete mixer, bulldozer, and more. This design works for the youngest builders, but older toddlers will wonder why the caterpillar treads of the streamroller, excavator, and crane don’t move with the wheels. The final vehicle, a crane, reveals the trick that makes the wheels turn together—a center sprocket. Two sentences of rhyming text per page provide basic information about each truck and its role on a construction site. One (seemingly arbitrarily chosen) word in each sentence is highlighted in a larger font. The name of each vehicle is also printed in enlarged type in white block letters outlined in a contrasting color. Pictures of the chunky, colorful vehicles against solid-color backgrounds give toddlers something else to talk about, but turning the pages and spinning the wheels remain the focus. The repetitive text on the recto page below the wheels quickly becomes a refrain for young readers: “Make my wheels spin. Let construction begin!”

Other books cover the same ground. Still, the interactive possibilities, salient information, and predictable text make this title road ready for the sandbox set. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-25681-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A book for car-loving kids.


A concept book about many kinds of vehicles.

Simple, first-person text translated from Dutch and delivered by a child, is divided into four sections: “Want to come for a ride?”; “Want to help?”; “Want to get some work done?”; and “Want to race along?” In all but the final section, which has but two race cars, the child introduces several kinds of vehicles, one per double-page spread, as racially diverse, unnamed characters interact with them. The “work” section includes a tractor, garbage truck, street sweeper, bulldozer, excavator, dump truck, and crane truck. The brief “help” section includes an ambulance, police car, police van, fire engine, and a tow truck. The lengthy, first section about “a ride” isn’t so straightforward and includes a car, bus, jeep, camper, ice cream truck, moving van, delivery van, limousine, semi truck, tanker, and car transporter. Those listed after the camper in the first section aren’t vehicles that the child rides in, and many readers might feel they’d be more appropriately located in the working-vehicle section. There is no story to follow, but bright, boldly colored illustrations with thick outlines and cheery characters match the direct text’s style and evoke the feel of Lucy Cousins’ work. The narrator has a perfectly round face, pink skin, and dark hair.

A book for car-loving kids. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-60537-399-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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