Young navigation enthusiasts, from bathtub ships’ captains to ocean-cruiser wannabes, will enjoy this voyage.

BOATS FLOAT!

Ahoy, maties!

As in her Trucks Roll! (2007) and Planes Fly! (2013), Lyon and her co-author celebrate a ubiquitous, well-loved form of transport in verse and launch it along on young readers’ imaginations. Numerous boats of all kinds and sizes, from different cultures and parts of the world and used for a variety of purposes, including play and habitation, are introduced here. Young readers will be awash in vessels plying waterways from rivers to lakes, ponds to bathtubs, and pools to oceans. Front and back endpapers feature a floating parade, and the colorful digital illustrations of the various boats and their environs showcase many shades of watery blue and exude spirited energy. The staunchest of landlubbers will yearn to set sail; one can almost hear the gently lapping waves. Overall, the verses are jaunty, though the rhymes and rhythms are inconsistent, sometimes even a bit clunky. Children will appreciate learning nifty new seafaring terms such as “poop deck,” “head,” “bilibilis,” “wherries,” “coracles,” and “dinghies,” all italicized in the text, as they picture themselves at the helm of any of the boats floating on these pages. In some illustrations, however, it’s not always clear to which boats certain terms refer, so parental sailing expertise may be required.

Young navigation enthusiasts, from bathtub ships’ captains to ocean-cruiser wannabes, will enjoy this voyage. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-0380-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Another breezy sail past things that go.

EVERYTHING GOES: BY SEA

B

From the Everything Goes series

Biggs ferries young viewers past floating fleets in his latest set of bustling cartoon surveys.

The voyage is sandwiched between sequences of big, wordless before and after panels. It begins when a vacationing family drives aboard a Center City ferry. After casting off, it navigates past themed gatherings of working boats and gigantic ships; craft of various sizes and historical periods driven by oars, motors or sails; houseboats and more. It docks in the wake of a climactic double gatefold in an entire harbor full of diverse vessels. Along the way, minidisquisitions on sails and propellers, cargo shipping, submarines, cruise ships and other nautical topics are delivered with plenty of sight gags and side business. Signal flags spell out “fish fry tonight,” and a fishing boat dubbed Archimedes demonstrates buoyancy and displacement, for instance. Biggs adds cutaway views as well as labels, jokes (“How long do you think the trip will take?” “About fifty-six pages”), review questions and occasional selfies to his full but not overstuffed scenes.

Another breezy sail past things that go. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-195811-3

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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A sizable gallery but, overall, a monotonous one.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF VEHICLES

FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Fans of trucks, trains, aircraft, and other conveyances large and small will find dozens gathered here, lined up neatly in squads according to function from “Demolition” to “Space Travel.”

Though most of the vehicles are easily identifiable by sight, small labels will clue in readers unfamiliar with specialized monikers like “wheel excavator” or vehicles not found in the United States, such as the colorfully decorated Pakistani bus and a motorized “pooper scooper scooter” from France. Cartoon passengers or other human figures convey a sense of size, and with occasional concessions, the floating, wheeled or winged machines are depicted at least close to relative scale on each spread. But the pleasures of poring over all the transports, earth movers and Earth leavers will pall quickly even for confirmed enthusiasts: So flat and generic are the images that many with similar purposes look like variations on the same shape. Moreover, an (rather skimpy) assortment of jointed arms, sliders, spinners and flaps that lift to provide cutaway views create at best only localized feelings of movement or visual drama. Also, the titular “ultimate” begs the lack of military or (aside from a space shuttle on the final spread) historical vehicles on view.

A sizable gallery but, overall, a monotonous one. (Pop-up informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-2-8480-1942-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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