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A STORY THAT GROWS

An excellent bedtime read no matter your species.

You don’t have to be human to like a good bedtime story.

Bachelet’s circular tale, originally published in France as Une histoire qui… (“A story that…”), features a slew of different species of parents reading stories to their little ones at bedtime. On the cover, a butterfly parent reads to its caterpillar child, who cuddles in bed with a stuffed panda toy in bed. On the first double-page spread, text reading “A very gentle mom, / a chubby-cheeked child, / a cuddly friend with whiskers… / …a story that grows” accompanies an illustration of a panda mother reading to her panda baby, who clutches a stuffed walrus toy. The next double-page spread features a walrus dad reading to his walrus child, who holds a stuffed stork toy. The text cycles through giraffes, ostriches, snails, bats, dragons, ETs, and backhoes before concluding with a white human child snuggling a stuffed butterfly: “A dad who stretches, / a child snuggled in for the night, / a cuddly friend that comforts… / …a story that is off to sleep.” The author’s bright, smiling watercolor creatures, machines, and people are wide-eyed, colorful, and attractive. In each spread, a fanciful nursery scene appears on verso while opposite, a book is depicted harmoniously and whimsically, with equally playful typography.

An excellent bedtime read no matter your species. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5512-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

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 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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