Concise, pedal-powered prose for the earliest of independent readers.

I LIKE MY BIKE

From the I Like To Read series

Slow and steady wins the traffic jam—especially when riding in the bike lane.

With a pup, a ball, and a wrapped present in their basket, a bespectacled human cyclist with long black hair exclaims “I like my bike.” The cyclist pedals on, and subsequent page turns introduce readers to humans or animals (and one cactus) who drive (and claim to like) their car, van, bus, or truck. The repetition of “I like my” followed by a noun creates a predictable pattern. Despite the individual preferences for particular modes of transportation, though, none are as joyful as the human cyclist. While the other commuters are stuck in a traffic jam in the background, the cyclist swiftly makes it to their destination. With an impressive economy of language, the story contains only 36 words—eight of which are unique. A deeper story exists in Ferrari’s mixed-media art. Executed with textures characteristic of paint, ink, and pencil, the style changes from page to page. On one page, readers will see a black-outlined cityscape against a broad swath of color; on the next, the environment might appear abstract or collaged. The medium trim size allows for group sharing, making this as much read-aloud as early reader. Readers can spot the cyclist in every double-page spread. Unfortunately, the only human character of color in the book is cast as a bus driver.

Concise, pedal-powered prose for the earliest of independent readers. (Picture book/early reader. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4097-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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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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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