A charming tale that offers parents an opportunity to teach their young children about the versatility of trucks.

READ REVIEW

BOB ON THE JOB

A large-print debut picture book showcases the many tasks that Bobcat trucks can accomplish.

“This is Bob. His full name is Bobcat!” exclaims the enthusiastic introductory caption in this volume. The work consists of nearly full-page color photos of various Bobcat trucks accompanied by brief captions, typically a sentence or two. With the second caption noting, “Bob comes in many shapes,” the text then proceeds to focus largely on these vehicles’ numerous capabilities—how they can scoop snow, lift blocks, build walls, lay pipe, etc. The last caption presents a culmination of the celebration: “Bob on the job! With help, a tread, and a scoop, he scoops dirt!” The book also provides a sprinkling of holiday themes, with one photo revealing a Bobcat with a “Happy Mother’s Day” sign on it and the caption explaining, “Bob works on Mother’s Day,” and another page displaying a Bobcat planting a Christmas tree. Many of the photos include construction-type workers with the Bobcats, although one page features a photo of a child at the wheel of a Bobcat with an accompanying caption underscoring the importance of people in operating this vehicle: “Bob needs help to go.” In similar fashion, there are pages dedicated to depicting a Bobcat being towed to a job and a worker pushing along a truck with the caption “Bob helped on the job.” Gebhart, who holds graduate degrees in operations management and science education, demonstrates his love of the science of machinery in this tale focused on—and excited about—the multidimensional functionality of these vehicles. The author’s deft shortening of Bobcat to “Bob” makes these trucks anthropomorphic and accessible to his target audience. Gebhart could have dug even deeper to develop this book, perhaps with more details about the different Bobcat variations and a fully shaped story about a particular Bob. Still, the volume delivers a pleasing conversation starter in its current form.

A charming tale that offers parents an opportunity to teach their young children about the versatility of trucks.

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5406-5045-0

Page Count: 28

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2016

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

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

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 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age...

THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

Beverly Cleary has written all kinds of books (the most successful ones about the irrepressible Henry Huggins) but this is her first fantasy.

Actually it's plain clothes fantasy grounded in the everyday—except for the original conceit of a mouse who can talk and ride a motorcycle. A toy motorcycle, which belongs to Keith, a youngster, who comes to the hotel where Ralph lives with his family; Ralph and Keith become friends, Keith gives him a peanut butter sandwich, but finally Ralph loses the motorcycle—it goes out with the dirty linen. Both feel dreadfully; it was their favorite toy; but after Keith gets sick, and Ralph manages to find an aspirin for him in a nearby room, and the motorcycle is returned, it is left with Ralph....

The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age group. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1965

ISBN: 0380709244

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1965

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