One-on-one or as part of a crowd, readers will enjoy wandering with Crab.

THIS IS CRAB

A highly interactive ocean-floor jaunt.

In the spirit of Christie Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree (2013) and Hervé Tullet’s Press Here! (2011), each spread contains a pleasing balance of prompts to readers in clean black text and friendly, high-contrast illustrations. Several spreads with die-cut overlays offer discovery opportunities and will foster an enthusiasm for books via the delight of meeting sea creatures with each page turn. While the titular crustacean—drawn as a red disk with six tiny legs, two stylized pincer claws, and googly eyes on stalks—is the central character in this meandering exploration, an octopus, sea turtles, and more perform cameos. These brief appearances from other critters introduce gentle social-emotional vocabulary such as “annoyed,” “rude,” and “apologize.” Dynamic words like “scuttle” and “tempt” are paired with various instructions to “shake” and “wriggle” the book for endless conversation starters and opportunities for readers to get their wiggles out. Aside from coaxing Crab out of the cave, the adventure has no clear goal and few true obstacles; the focus is on having a good time and keeping up with Crab’s whereabouts. Scaffolded reading is possible with this volume: Older kids could hit the internet to learn more about molting while younger kids can repeatedly (and satisfyingly) turn Crab from red to pink and back to red with the flip of a shaped flap.

One-on-one or as part of a crowd, readers will enjoy wandering with Crab. (Picture book/novelty. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68464-064-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

more