Purchase only if all your other truck books are always out on the road.

READ REVIEW

TRUCKS

From the Follow the Trail series

More traffic on the crowded board-book highway.

A digger and dump truck share a double-page spread, followed by “recovery truck” (a flatbed tow truck), fire engine, and recycling truck. An introductory spread attempts to explain all the features of the book: color-coded, textured trails, each with a string of tiny trucks to keep readers oriented, to follow with a finger, shapes to find and identify, and a peek-through hole that foreshadows what will be on the next page. (When the page is turned, the peek-through hole reveals an unrelated item from the previous spread, either a helicopter or a bird). The vocabulary is more complex than in most board books. Key words are printed in boldface, and directional words are highlighted along each track. A likely destination for each truck is pictured and described in a smaller font at the end of each finger trail. A typical truck sound is introduced for each vehicle, though only the “wooh! wooh!” of the fire engine is readily identified with its particular truck. The final page reviews the vehicles and repeats their trails and destinations. For older toddlers who are beginning to enjoy books independently, all this activity may keep them engaged. Younger tots will be overwhelmed and confused.

Purchase only if all your other truck books are always out on the road. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4654-5126-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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From the predictable text to the just-right surprise ending, there’s plenty here to entice toddler readers.

TIME TO GO HOME

From the Little Snail series

A class of cheery animals leave school with their caregivers, minus Little Snail, who carries a secret on their back.

School’s out, and this class is ready to go! This agreeable Chinese import follows a satisfyingly predictable pattern: First there is a double-page spread of a different animal saying farewell to Little Snail, followed by a spread describing the way the critter gets home. Within its succinct pattern there’s a large variety of transportation options, from biking to public transit to car, meaning that most toddlers will relate to at least one of the methods. Additionally, not all the adults picking up youngsters are identified by relationship, allowing space for various child care arrangements. Once all the other animals have gone, there’s a mysterious, dark-green spread with only a giant “Whoosh!” on it—and the turn of the page reveals Little Snail inside their shell. Surprise! “Little Snail is always the first to get home!” Bold, matte prints infuse the cartoon-style animals with personality, from a speckled bear running for the bus and a frolicking pig with movement lines and braids askew to the low, solid-looking snail. A limited palette of rust, forest green, and mustard yellow creates just enough contrast within the distinctive animal prints. Occasionally, the eyes are oddly placed, veering toward cubism, but most retain a childlike charm.

From the predictable text to the just-right surprise ending, there’s plenty here to entice toddler readers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8358-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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