Hugo swaps his airplane from Hugo the Flying Firefighter (2005) for a smiling sailboat, Gypsy. Hugo, small and affable, breezes down Sweetwater Creek and into Blue Frog River. Along the way he happens upon neighborhood friends also enjoying the lovely day. Mrs. Brown, the bear, is fishing, and Mr. Rhinehart, the rhino, is floating along with his horn in a book. But alas, a storm erupts. Everyone, including Hugo and Gypsy, are swept up and away as the cresting waves toss them about. When the storm abruptly subsides, Hugo hears, “Help!” from Mrs. Pentland the penguin—her little Penelope has been washed out to sea. “Climb aboard,” offers Hugo, but Gypsy is without wind and therefore cannot move. Hugo has his wits about him and thinks up a way to put wind in the sails. The pastel paintings are lavish in various shades of blue that contrast boldly with bright yellows and reds. The endpapers map the peninsular town surrounded by the creek, river and Rescue Bay. Hugo, with his sense of adventure and I-think-I-can gumption, will hold enormous appeal to the lap-reading set. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-74114-614-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2006

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Truck lovers of any gender will find this title a treat, but the hyperfeminine companion is sadly restrictive.


Richly textured board pages and a limited color palette distinguish this tribute to trucks.

The gray buckram cover is a delight to hold, while bright red endpapers promise excitement within. Beautifully designed using shades of red, black, white, and brown on matte pages, the whole package has a retro, letterpress feel. The first truck is a firetruck big enough for a brown-skinned child to straddle. Later pages feature construction vehicles, a flatbed trailer, and an ice cream truck. The slight text has a lyrical quality, though the occasional rhymes seem accidental. Relatively abstract concepts are casually introduced, “Love is a kid who lines them all up. Biggest to smallest, color by color.” On the final page the brown-skinned child is kissed goodnight while clutching a truck under a road-patterned blanket. The main character wears plaid bib overalls and has longish curly hair. Another child, also brown-skinned, with close-cropped hair, plays with the construction trucks, shares a treat from the ice cream truck, and offers a goodnight kiss. Unfortunately, a less gender-neutral companion volume, Love Is a Tutu, clearly aims for the ballerina market with an excess of pink. Together the two books assure little girls they can love both tutus and trucks. Unfortunately, they send a mixed message to little boys.

Truck lovers of any gender will find this title a treat, but the hyperfeminine companion is sadly restrictive. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-937359-86-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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From the The Goodnight Train series

As The Goodnight Train traverses la-la land, the rhythmic chugging and the cadenced clickety-clacking will eventually lull even the most stalwart child to sleep. So, “Find your sleepers! Grab your teddy.” The train sets forth over hill and dale, puffing and huffing, embraced by somnolent shades of blue and purple. Upward through the tunnel, the train rockets around the curve and toward its destination, choo-chooing all the way as it passes over a flat plain and through a field of sheep. Gradually, the train begins to slow. At last the little locomotive pulls into the depot and its occupants sigh and close their sleepy eyes. The illustrations depict welcoming creatures of all sorts, children and skunks alike. There is bountiful fun to be had in the journey’s creamy hues, painting fantastic hypnagogic images such as a turtle shoveling cinnamon rolls and a mermaid applying night cream. The cheerful and rhyming text paired with the frothy art creates an enchanting trip to dreamland. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-15-205436-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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