Next book



From the Ready-To-Read series

Rev up reading skills with this tale of competition and cooperation.

On your mark…get set…zoom!

As this early reader opens, four vehicles are lining up for a big race. Our hero, Blue, has high hopes, but the others—a convertible named Green, a monster truck named Red, and a taxicab named Yellow—zip right past, leaving Blue in the dust. But Blue won’t give up, and when a spinout and crash incapacitate the others, Blue comes to the rescue. Young readers needn’t be racing fans to love this book. The story opens with a helpful list of all the words used; some are grouped as word families (place, ace), some as sight words (all, and), and some as bonus words (slow, stops, wants). Simple reading comprehension questions are appended, including an extension activity that notes that grin, in, and spin are rhyming words and asks readers to think of other words in that rhyming family. Bright, multicolored illustrations capture nail-biting action and emotions and often show sparks shooting out from the wheels of the speeding cars. Most pages have just a few short sentences in large, clear type, with plenty of exclamation points and a few carefully selected onomatopoeic words adding to the fast pace and excitement.

Rev up reading skills with this tale of competition and cooperation. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781665951708

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

Next book


A charming winner about purpose, bravery, and making one’s dreams come true.

Dedication and determination are everything.

Gabriel, an old elephant who lives by the sea, reminisces about visiting a lifeboat as a youngster. He loved watching the crew ready it to rescue sailors and enjoyed listening to them sing sea shanties. He longed to be so brave! When Gabriel asked to join them, they told him to return when he was older and stronger. Gabriel read about storms and sea rescues and practiced rowing. He grew older, stronger, and BIGGER. By the time he returned to the crew, Gabriel had unfortunately grown too large to fit into the boat. More intent than ever, Gabriel constructed his own vessel, singing mightily. Meanwhile, the fishing fleet set out, then ran into big trouble when a strong gale hit. The regular lifeboat team couldn’t help. Guess who rescued the sailors safely with his own powerful vessel? In the end, everyone decided to build a larger craft to accommodate everyone. By turns thrilling and warmly reassuring, this story demonstrates that resolve—and inclusion—wins out; readers will cheer for Gabriel all the way. Sailing through the narrative are vigorous shanties readers might well join in on. Fitting his animal cast out in thick sweaters and raincoats, Vere brings the Cornish setting to life beautifully. Gabriel cuts an endearing figure in the lively illustrations, rendered in a limited palette of soft oranges, grays, and blues.

A charming winner about purpose, bravery, and making one’s dreams come true. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9780525580904

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

Next book


From the Little Heroes, Big Hearts series

Only for kids who really, really want to look at pictures of tractors.

A purple tractor discovers his purpose.

“Deep in farm country…Purple Tractor had a comfortable home and loving parents, but he was unhappy.” The other tractors—orange, red, and blue—make fun of him because of his inability to perform farm-related chores. He finds comfort talking with Brown Truck, who’s lived on the farm longer than any other vehicle and tells stories about the old days. Brown Truck has the perfect job for Purple Tractor: working on a construction site. Purple Tractor heads to a construction site with Brown Truck and enjoys the work. His fellow farm tractors start to feel threatened by his new sense of self, but once he saves the day after a severe weather event, he eventually finds his place in both worlds. Exhaustingly long blocks of text are paired with static illustrations of pastoral and urban scenes. While heavy machinery is often an automatic hit with young children, this one will have a hard time finding an appreciative audience. The story is wordy, with a leaden sentimentality that comes from painstakingly explaining what lessons readers should be taking away. The heroism in this Little Heroes, Big Hearts series leaves a lot to be desired.

Only for kids who really, really want to look at pictures of tractors. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781728278315

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

Close Quickview