Bedroom garages outfitted with this little auto are sure to be sites of requests for repeated readings.

TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE CAR

An automobile stand-in for the young and the restless rejects the siren song of bedtime.

This book may offer the chance to sing it in its entirety to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” but readers should think hard before committing to it. To that most familiar of tunes, a spunky red car leaves its garage at bedtime to zip and zoom past various fellow vehicles at night. They all—tractors and diggers, planes and fire trucks—get a chipper nighttime salute from the zippy vehicle. After an evening of high energy, at last the auto is ferried back to its cozy home, ready to let the “beep-beep dreams begin.” Simply reading the book is just as effective as (if not more so than) singing it, and it has the lilting cadences common to bedtime fare. There’s even a bit of levity, as when a number of vehicles respond to the little car with their signature sounds. There is an old car (“Ah-OOH-ga!”), an ice cream truck (“Zing!”), a truck (“HONK!”), and an improbably rude-sounding school bus (“BLARG!”). Artistically, the soothing hand-printed linoleum blocks, digitally collaged in shades of brown, red, blue, and yellow, lend the proceedings a calming atmosphere.

Bedroom garages outfitted with this little auto are sure to be sites of requests for repeated readings. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8803-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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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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While there are many rhyming truck books out there, this stands out for being a collection of poems.

DIGGER, DOZER, DUMPER

Rhyming poems introduce children to anthropomorphized trucks of all sorts, as well as the jobs that they do.

Adorable multiethnic children are the drivers of these 16 trucks—from construction equipment to city trucks, rescue vehicles and a semi—easily standing in for readers, a point made very clear on the final spread. Varying rhyme schemes and poem lengths help keep readers’ attention. For the most part, the rhymes and rhythms work, as in this, from “Cement Mixer”: “No time to wait; / he can’t sit still. / He has to beg your pardon. / For if he dawdles on the way, / his slushy load will harden.” Slonim’s trucks each sport an expressive pair of eyes, but the anthropomorphism stops there, at least in the pictures—Vestergaard sometimes takes it too far, as in “Bulldozer”: “He’s not a bully, either, / although he’s big and tough. / He waits his turn, plays well with friends, / and pushes just enough.” A few trucks’ jobs get short shrift, to mixed effect: “Skid-Steer Loader” focuses on how this truck moves without the typical steering wheel, but “Semi” runs with a royalty analogy and fails to truly impart any knowledge. The acrylic-and-charcoal artwork, set against white backgrounds, keeps the focus on the trucks and the jobs they are doing.

While there are many rhyming truck books out there, this stands out for being a collection of poems. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5078-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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