Caregivers, be prepared; these topics should provoke plenty of questions: “What’s a paramedic?”; “What’s a luxury yacht?”;...

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ON THE GO

From the First Words and Pictures series

A lexicon of locomotion.

This effort, like its companion volume, Animals, is a non-narrative, illustrated glossary giving young readers an expanded vocabulary on a given topic, in this case, planes, trains, cars, boats, and accessories. The book is divided into categories: “Trains,” “Air Travel,” “On the Road,” “Emergency,” “Building Site,” and “On the Water.” Clear, colorful illustrations accompany 81 terms over 14 pages. “Tickets,” “tunnel,” “railroad crossing,” “tracks,” and “conductor” are featured train-related concepts, for example, while “airport,” “baggage cart,” “pilot,” and “helicopter” relate to flight. Men and women of a variety of races represent first responders and airline personnel in uniform. A white boy skateboards, and a boy with light brown skin roller skates in elbow and kneepads. The book’s design is utilitarian rather than dynamic; these static pictures of things that go cry out for some speed lines and sound effects. Nevertheless, the sheer variety of types and uses of vehicles depicted will broaden any child’s perspective on the world. Kids who thought in simple terms of cars and trucks will be able to identify vans, pickup trucks, motorhomes, construction vehicles, buses, trains, trolleys, sailboats, powerboats, planes, hot air balloons, bikes, scooters, motorcycles, and even tuk tuks. Animals offers similar treatment for “Safari Animals,” “Farm Animals,” “Pets,” “Sea Creatures,” “Rainforest Animals,” “Baby Animals,” and “Birds.”

Caregivers, be prepared; these topics should provoke plenty of questions: “What’s a paramedic?”; “What’s a luxury yacht?”; “What’s an SUV?” (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68152-201-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Amicus Ink

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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