Emphasizing financial responsibility, this engaging tale will prompt useful discussions between parents and children.

MADISON'S 1ST DOLLAR

A PICTURE BOOK ABOUT MONEY

A girl wonders what she should do with a dollar bill in this picture book.

After receiving her first dollar, Madison ponders her options. Should she save, spend, donate, or invest? The girl, who has brown eyes, dark skin, and dark hair, considers purchasing toys or candy and also contemplates investing or saving. She weighs giving “away 25 cents because she feels so blessed” and thinks about surprising a friend with a gift or donating to a neighbor. Ultimately, the story leaves Madison’s final decision open-ended. Beckford provides space for readers to offer their opinions (“Tell us how you would spend YOUR dollar!”) and implores them to treat money sensibly. Using an interactive format, the enjoyable book introduces ideas of financial responsibility in a simple, kid-friendly way. The bold, graphic, uncredited illustrations supplement Madison’s thoughts. Some show the girl as she ruminates about spending her money, including at a toy store. Many feature thematic elements, like an image depicting coin jars labeled “save, spend, invest, give.” Several provide information. For instance, Madison looks at a paper titled “Maddie’s Savings Plan” that lists: “Spend 50 cents”; “Save 25 cents”; “Give 25 cents.” Other images are fun and creative; when the text explains that Madison’s money gives her “major buying power,” she is dressed as a superhero. The work includes illustrations of bills and coins for readers to print out and color.

Emphasizing financial responsibility, this engaging tale will prompt useful discussions between parents and children.

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-952684-14-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Thrive Publishing Company LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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