Music lovers will enjoy this melodic story, which is a good thing, since they’ll likely not forget the tune anytime soon.

READ REVIEW

CAT DOORMAN'S LITTLE RED WAGON

Sing along with the classic children’s tune as a giggly girl gathers provisions for a picnic with her friends.

Writer/artist/musician Bright has adopted the moniker “Cat Doorman” for her children’s work and here employs her talent trifecta to create this adaptation of the traditional children’s song. She has modified the lyrics to fit her musical storyline and also created the book’s vibrant, childlike illustrations. The app begins with an adorable little girl pulling her wagon to the first screen. Readers are invited to place an instrument (a guitar, a piano or a full band) into the wagon, which determines the accompaniment. There’s an animated staff of music at the bottom of the screen that offers musical notation of the melody. From there, the girl visits the bakery, the dairy, an orchard and a garden, where—with the help of readers—she will collect food for her picnic. Each stop offers ample opportunity to hone fine-motor skills, and little fingers can also find interactive opportunities along the way. The musical mix is well-done, and the three-part harmonies soar (Doorman enlisted members of the Decemberists and the Corin Tucker Band to help round out the band.) The only thing missing is a way to skip around between scenes, as there are absolutely no shortcuts from beginning to end.

Music lovers will enjoy this melodic story, which is a good thing, since they’ll likely not forget the tune anytime soon. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Night & Day Studios

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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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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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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