With pleasing echoes of Brown’s famous classic, including bookends of a cow jumping over a moon, this bedtime story will...

GOOD DAY, GOOD NIGHT

A new potential classic just right for bedtime, on the 70th anniversary of Goodnight Moon.

With a vintage palette that today’s adults will likely recognize, this tale introduces readers to a lively bunny village nestled in green hills that surround an old oak tree. One bunny eagerly greets the sun as he begins his paper route and then joins a soccer game with friends. Busy neighbors deliver milk and sell pastries in the town. When at last evening approaches, residents return home, and lights blink on to shine into the hushed night. Muted acrylic illustrations portray these two tales of day and night, beginning with the endpapers. Each daytime scene has a nighttime twin—especially the detailed, full-village illustrations—to reassure apprehensive little ones concerned about the gathering dark at bedtime that all will be well during the night. Brown’s spare verse will resonate with caregivers as a read-aloud, with its bouncy rhythm by day and calming lilt by night. Long provides additional depth with captivating spreads that feature numerous opportunities to add visual stories to the tale and small, charming vignettes that contribute to the classic look and feel. (One such makes the all-too-common mistake of depicting a beehive as a wasps’ nest, this one with multiple doors, apartment-style.)

With pleasing echoes of Brown’s famous classic, including bookends of a cow jumping over a moon, this bedtime story will entice families back again and again . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-238310-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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A forgettable tale.

THE LITTLEST REINDEER

Dot, the smallest reindeer at the North Pole, is too little to fly with the reindeer team on Christmas Eve, but she helps Santa in a different, unexpected way.

Dot is distressed because she can’t jump and fly like the other, bigger reindeer. Her family members encourage her and help her practice her skills, and her mother tells her, “There’s always next year.” Dot’s elf friend, Oliver, encourages her and spends time playing with her, doing things that Dot can do well, such as building a snowman and chasing their friend Yeti (who looks like a fuzzy, white gumdrop). On Christmas Eve, Santa and the reindeer team take off with their overloaded sleigh. Only Dot notices one small present that’s fallen in the snow, and she successfully leaps into the departing sleigh with the gift. This climactic flying leap into the sleigh is not adequately illustrated, as Dot is shown just starting to leap and then already in the sleigh. A saccharine conclusion notes that being little can sometimes be great and that “having a friend by your side makes anything possible.” The story is pleasant but predictable, with an improbably easy solution to Dot’s problem. Illustrations in a muted palette are similarly pleasant but predictable, with a greeting-card flavor that lacks originality. The elf characters include boys, girls, and adults; all the elves and Santa and Mrs. Claus are white.

A forgettable tale. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-15738-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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