A delightful winding-down story after a busy day at the beach—or anywhere.


The newest collaboration by sisters Kvasnosky and McGee takes readers on an evening stroll to the beach and a dive underwater in the nighttime ocean.

The sun sinks toward a distant horizon while a racially diverse group of family and friends sings along at a seaside picnic. Young and old enjoy the music, and a child sits and listens in mother’s lap “as they rock to ocean sounds.” The sun begins to set, and the mother’s words echo the lapping of the waves as she sings a lullaby. “Shhh hush. Shhh hush. We can sing along.” Below the waves and under the darkening water, Kvasnosky’s lulling verse continues, “the big whales doze,” and “turtles float and shut their eyes.” Floating peacefully, “dolphins drift and mantas glide / through the rocking, rolling tide.” Twilight turns tide pools golden. The encroaching nightfall slows everything down, and baby falls asleep on mother’s shoulder. “You, my sweet, my sleepy child, / rest here in my arms awhile. / As the new moon rides the sky, / dream the ocean lullaby.” With the crescent moon (not, some will quibble, a new moon) and stars overhead and the waves kissing the beach, she sings to her child. (Both present White.) Soft and rich pastels are emboldened with black outlines, creating a pleasing graphic background for this peaceful, sleepytime poem. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 42.1% of actual size.)

A delightful winding-down story after a busy day at the beach—or anywhere. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11801-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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.


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?

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.


A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?