Exuberant childlike paintings glow and almost run away with this eclectic grouping of 32 nursery rhymes. As the acknowledgements attest, Benjamin gathered rhymes the world over and arranged her harvest into ``Lullabies,'' ``Action Rhymes'' (with instructions for motion included on the same page that are not always clear or easy to follow), ``Nature,'' and a final mixed ``Grab Bag.'' Admirably, the interesting choicesfrom 23 countries on 6 continentsusually do not repeat those found in the countless collections already available. Benjamin provides the country or region in which each piece was found; sometimes the rhymes appear in English only, sometimes in English and another language, and in a few cases, untranslated, though rhythmic and readable. Moxley's paintings star here: bold colors, appealing subjects, primitive shapes that universalize the selections, all well matched to the text. The bonus is the design of the endpapers, comprised of a riotous patchwork quilt of images. (Picture book. 2- 6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-09455-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1995

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While there are many rhyming truck books out there, this stands out for being a collection of poems.


Rhyming poems introduce children to anthropomorphized trucks of all sorts, as well as the jobs that they do.

Adorable multiethnic children are the drivers of these 16 trucks—from construction equipment to city trucks, rescue vehicles and a semi—easily standing in for readers, a point made very clear on the final spread. Varying rhyme schemes and poem lengths help keep readers’ attention. For the most part, the rhymes and rhythms work, as in this, from “Cement Mixer”: “No time to wait; / he can’t sit still. / He has to beg your pardon. / For if he dawdles on the way, / his slushy load will harden.” Slonim’s trucks each sport an expressive pair of eyes, but the anthropomorphism stops there, at least in the pictures—Vestergaard sometimes takes it too far, as in “Bulldozer”: “He’s not a bully, either, / although he’s big and tough. / He waits his turn, plays well with friends, / and pushes just enough.” A few trucks’ jobs get short shrift, to mixed effect: “Skid-Steer Loader” focuses on how this truck moves without the typical steering wheel, but “Semi” runs with a royalty analogy and fails to truly impart any knowledge. The acrylic-and-charcoal artwork, set against white backgrounds, keeps the focus on the trucks and the jobs they are doing.

While there are many rhyming truck books out there, this stands out for being a collection of poems. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5078-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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For the youngest of unicorn fanatics; others may want to look for their magic elsewhere.


A young unicorn frolics with friends and family to the tune and lyric structure of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Predictably, the singable text reads: “Twinkle, Twinkle, unicorn, / sparkle with your magic horn. // Leaping over clouds so high, / like a diamond in the sky.” Each double-page spread shows the titular creature, yellow and with a rainbow mane, tail, and horn, leaping over rainbows, cavorting with bumblebees, and dancing with a pink bunny, among others. As night falls, the unicorn enjoys a story from what are likely parental figures, an older pink unicorn sporting a necklace and a blue unicorn with bow tie (it seems gender stereotypes exist among legendary creatures, too). Waring’s childlike art is a candy-colored explosion, with big-eyed critters, both legendary and real, all with chunky, toddler-esque physiques. While the verse is nothing new (“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” has arguably been rewritten more than any other children’s song) and there is little substance, it scans and sings relatively easily. Youngsters will be drawn to the sparkly rainbow on the cover.

For the youngest of unicorn fanatics; others may want to look for their magic elsewhere. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3973-3

Page Count: 7

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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