GO, GIRLS, GO!

A hit for girls who identify strongly with girlhood and love things that go.

Girl power meets things that go in this colorful early picture book.

Girls with diverse skin colors, hair colors, and hair textures drive, conduct, steer, speed, rev, fly, build, load, dump, and rocket in vehicles of many different types. A spread introducing three girls being active in their vehicles is followed by a spread calling out the sounds their machines make (“VROOM! goes Emma. / HOOT! goes Meg. / CLANK! goes Jayla”), then a spread saying “GO, GIRLS, GO!” This three-spread pattern repeats with three new girls and vehicles each time. From trains and tractors to tugboats, taxis, planes, and motorcycles, these girls “go” in every way, working, playing and saving the day. Girls from previous spreads help girls on later spreads, showing an ideal of cooperation and unity that furthers the value of the girl-power message. On the last “GO, GIRLS, GO!” spread, all the girls march together, some holding signs for peace, equality, and womanhood—a touch that may tip the balance a bit too far into the realm of didacticism for some tastes. The illustrations feature bright primary colors, block shapes, patterns, stars, and large, clear fonts that will appeal to young audiences. With repeated readings, pre-readers will be reciting the words on their own.

A hit for girls who identify strongly with girlhood and love things that go. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2482-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

DIGGER, DOZER, DUMPER

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 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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