An entertaining underdog tale.


Watch what this little green machine can do!

Sweeps, a compact green sidewalk sweeper, wants to prove her mettle, but her small stature frequently means she’s dismissed with a “Big jobs are for big trucks” by the bigger guys. As the week progresses, Sweeps tries to join in on cleaning jobs, but the larger vehicles beat her to it. So Sweeps tries her spinning bristles at towing cars and making a siren noise, but she’s not equipped to handle these jobs. On Friday, Sweeps’ mounting failures lead to depression, and she decides to stay inside the garage, but the other trucks get caught in a “floody, muddy mess” caused by a storm. Thankfully, Sweeps is there to get the big guys cleaned up and back on the road. Readers will appreciate Sweeps’ can-do attitude and perseverance even though the plot doesn’t always make sense. (Even if an excavator can get stuck in the mud, can a street cleaner really save the day?) The digital illustrations do a lot to distract from the nonlogic of the situation, and young readers who love trucks will be enchanted to see a sidewalk sweeper get a starring role. Mike Mulligan and Katy don’t have anything to worry about just yet, but Sweeps makes a charming addition to the genre of vehicles-as-characters. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An entertaining underdog tale. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-225016-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the...


In this deceptively spare, very beginning reader, a girl assembles a robot and then treats it like a slave until it goes on strike.

Having put the robot together from a jumble of loose parts, the budding engineer issues an increasingly peremptory series of rhymed orders— “Throw, Bot. / Row, Bot”—that turn from playful activities like chasing bubbles in the yard to tasks like hoeing the garden, mowing the lawn and towing her around in a wagon. Jung crafts a robot with riveted edges, big googly eyes and a smile that turns down in stages to a scowl as the work is piled on. At last, the exhausted robot plops itself down, then in response to its tormentor’s angry “Don’t say no, Bot!” stomps off in a huff. In one to four spacious, sequential panels per spread, Jung develops both the plotline and the emotional conflict using smoothly modeled cartoon figures against monochromatic or minimally detailed backgrounds. The child’s commands, confined in small dialogue balloons, are rhymed until her repentant “Come on home, Bot” breaks the pattern but leads to a more equitable division of labor at the end.

A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the rest. (Easy reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-87083-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age.


Parr focuses his simplistic childlike art and declarative sentences on gratitude for the pleasures and wonders of a child’s everyday life.

Using images of both kids and animals, each colorful scene in bold primary colors declaims a reason to be thankful. “I am thankful for my hair because it makes me unique” shows a yellow-faced child with a wild purple coiffure, indicating self-esteem. An elephant with large pink ears happily exclaims, “I am thankful for my ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you.’ ” Humor is interjected with, “I am thankful for underwear because I like to wear it on my head.” (Parents will hope that it is clean, but potty-humor–loving children probably won’t care.) Children are encouraged to be thankful for feet, music, school, vacations and the library, “because it is filled with endless adventures,” among other things. The book’s cheery, upbeat message is clearly meant to inspire optimistic gratitude; Parr exhorts children to “remember some [things to be thankful for] every day.”

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18101-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet