Next book

THE YELLOW BUS

A steady paean to time’s passing and the pleasures found along the way.

A front-seat view of a school bus’s long and varied life.

Deftly invoking the anthropomorphized objects in books of old (as in the works of Virginia Lee Burton), Long introduces readers to a small town and the yellow bus that serves it. Using charcoal and graphite, the author/artist portrays a mostly black-and-white world; he relies on colorful acrylics to depict those who enter the bus (who's described with female pronouns), including children ferried to school. Time goes on, and the bus is repurposed to take the elderly around town. Later, she’s abandoned near an overpass but finds a new role sheltering unhoused people. Finally, she’s taken to a farm, where she becomes a playground for goats. With each iteration, we hear the sounds of her passengers, human and otherwise, and the repeated phrase “And they filled her with joy.” At long last a damming project leaves her underwater, but fish find a home in the bus and make her happy. A final view of the town displays a single wavery point of yellow visible beneath the water. Backmatter explains both Long’s inspiration and the model town he made as a visual aid. Though this is a tale of decay over time, the book’s gentle narration, fun sound effects, and empathy grant the old vehicle dignity in her deconstruction. Characters are diverse.

A steady paean to time’s passing and the pleasures found along the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2024

ISBN: 9781250903136

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

Next book

IZZY GIZMO AND THE INVENTION CONVENTION

From the Izzy Gizmo series

A disappointing follow-up.

Inventor Izzy Gizmo is back in this sequel to her eponymous debut (2017).

While busily inventing one day, Izzy receives an invitation from the Genius Guild to their annual convention. Though Izzy’s “inventions…don’t always work,” Grandpa (apparently her sole caregiver) encourages her to go. The next day they undertake a long journey “over fields, hills, and waves” and “mile after mile” to isolated Technoff Isle. There, Izzy finds she must compete against four other kids to create the most impressive machine. The colorful, detail-rich illustrations chronicle how poor Izzy is thwarted at every turn by Abi von Lavish, a Veruca Salt–esque character who takes all the supplies for herself. But when Abi abandons her project, Izzy salvages the pieces and decides to take Grandpa’s advice to create a machine that “can really be put to good use.” A frustrated Izzy’s impatience with a friend almost foils her chance at the prize, but all’s well that ends well. There’s much to like: Brown-skinned inventor girl Izzy is an appealing character, it’s great to see a nurturing brown-skinned male caregiver, the idea of an “Invention Convention” is fun, and a sustainable-energy invention is laudable. However, these elements don’t make up for rhymes that often feel forced and a lackluster story.

A disappointing follow-up. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-164-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Next book

DIGGERSAURS

Count on construction die-hards falling in love, but discerning readers would be wise to look elsewhere for their...

Less ambitious than Chris Gall’s widely known Dinotrux (2009) and sequels, this British import systematically relegates each dinosaur/construction-equipment hybrid to its most logical job.

The title figures are introduced as bigger than both diggers and dinosaurs, and rhyming text and two construction-helmeted kids show just what these creatures are capable of. Each diggersaur has a specific job to do and a distinct sound effect. The dozersaurus moves rocks with a “SCRAAAAPE!!!” while the rollersaurus flattens lumps with a cheery “TOOT TOOT!!” Each diggersaur is numbered, with 12 in all, allowing this to be a counting book on the sly. As the diggersaurs (not all of which dig) perform jobs that regular construction equipment can do, albeit on a larger scale, there is no particular reason why any of them should have dinosaurlike looks other than just ’cause. Peppy computer art tries valiantly to attract attention away from the singularly unoriginal text. “Diggersaurs dig with bites so BIG, / each SCOOP creates a crater. // They’re TOUGH and STRONG / with necks so long— / they’re super EXCAVATORS!” Far more interesting are the two human characters, a white girl and a black boy, that flit about the pictures offering commentary and action. Much of the fun of the book can be found in trying to spot them on every two-page spread.

Count on construction die-hards falling in love, but discerning readers would be wise to look elsewhere for their dino/construction kicks. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-4779-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Close Quickview