There are clearer ways to teach children about feelings than this.

THE KIDS ON THE BUS

A SPIN-THE-WHEEL BOOK OF EMOTIONS

An interactive book on emotions based on the popular children’s song “The Wheels on the Bus.”

In this bus-shaped board book, a group of animals stands in for the “kids” on the bus. As the passengers—including a fox assisting a hippo who sits in a wheelchair—come on board, the lyrics riff off the original: “The feelings on the bus go round and round, all ’round the town.” Then, spread by spread, a pig “waves Hi, hi, hi”; a monkey “says Sit! sit! sit!”; a bird “says Look! look! look!”; a bear “laughs Hee, hee, hee”; and the hippo “yells Whee! whee! whee!” Meanwhile, as the passengers’ antics increase, the face of the driver (a tiger) is slowly changing from placid and smiley to a big open-mouthed yell: “The driver on the bus calls Shh! shh! shh!” As readers sing along with the book they may wonder what makes it a book on emotions. What they have probably overlooked is a small, round die-cut hole that focuses images on a wheel that children can spin to match the actions with an emotion that’s portrayed emoticon-style, with the word underneath. As the matching of emotion to action isn’t always obvious (“hi” goes with “shy,” and “sit” goes with “friendly”), children will only know they got it right if they spin the wheel in exact order with the pages.

There are clearer ways to teach children about feelings than this. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6825-8

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE

Little Blue Truck feels, well, blue when he delivers valentine after valentine but receives nary a one.

His bed overflowing with cards, Blue sets out to deliver a yellow card with purple polka dots and a shiny purple heart to Hen, one with a shiny fuchsia heart to Pig, a big, shiny, red heart-shaped card to Horse, and so on. With each delivery there is an exchange of Beeps from Blue and the appropriate animal sounds from his friends, Blue’s Beeps always set in blue and the animal’s vocalization in a color that matches the card it receives. But as Blue heads home, his deliveries complete, his headlight eyes are sad and his front bumper droops ever so slightly. Blue is therefore surprised (but readers may not be) when he pulls into his garage to be greeted by all his friends with a shiny blue valentine just for him. In this, Blue’s seventh outing, it’s not just the sturdy protagonist that seems to be wilting. Schertle’s verse, usually reliable, stumbles more than once; stanzas such as “But Valentine’s Day / didn’t seem much fun / when he didn’t get cards / from anyone” will cause hitches during read-alouds. The illustrations, done by Joseph in the style of original series collaborator Jill McElmurry, are pleasant enough, but his compositions often feel stiff and forced.

Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-27244-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

more