CRANE AND CRANE

This charming and original book offers much for young readers and their caregivers to talk about as well as encouraging...

Singleton compares the activities of a sandhill crane and a construction crane to teach simple vocabulary and to enable readers to observe similarities between two very different things.

Bird and machine are engaged in parallel activities. The bird is building a nest; the crane is building a house for a young couple with a baby on the way. Thus the story is skillfully shifted from the machine to the human story of the baby being born. The only text consists of simple, sometimes onomatopoeic verbs scattered through the pages as the bird and crane “lift” objects; “stretch” their appendages; “honk”; choose, “grab,” and “stack” building materials; and “sway” in a tempestuous wind. Finally the house is built and the nest is complete, and the occupants of both move in. A crane chick hatches from an egg, and a baby is born in the new house. Both families are at peace in their new dwellings. The final word on the page is a noun: “Home.” Smythe’s shimmering watercolor-and-crayon illustrations convey the charming subtext of the nonverbal story of the crane family nesting and hatching and the white human family for whom the house is being built.

This charming and original book offers much for young readers and their caregivers to talk about as well as encouraging comparison and simile skills. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68152-408-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amicus Ink

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

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 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER

Parent-child love and affection, appealingly presented, with the added attraction of the seasonal content and lack of gender...

A polar-bear parent speaks poetically of love for a child.

A genderless adult and cub travel through the landscapes of an arctic year. Each of the softly rendered double-page paintings has a very different feel and color palette as the pair go through the seasons, walking through wintry ice and snow and green summer meadows, cavorting in the blue ocean, watching whales, and playing beside musk oxen. The rhymes of the four-line stanzas are not forced, as is the case too often in picture books of this type: “When cold, winter winds / blow the leaves far and wide, / You’ll cross the great icebergs / with me by your side.” On a dark, snowy night, the loving parent says: “But for now, cuddle close / while the stars softly shine. // I’ll always be yours, / and you’ll always be mine.” As the last illustration shows the pair curled up for sleep, young listeners will be lulled to sweet dreams by the calm tenor of the pictures and the words. While far from original, this timeless theme is always in demand, and the combination of delightful illustrations and poetry that scans well make this a good choice for early-childhood classrooms, public libraries, and one-on-one home read-alouds.

Parent-child love and affection, appealingly presented, with the added attraction of the seasonal content and lack of gender restrictions. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-070-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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