Truck-lovers will beg for repeat reads, with little ones “reading along” from memory


When an ice cream truck breaks down, a truck traffic jam ensues: the perfect attraction for the vehicle-obsessed in this captivating counting book.

From cement mixer to garbage truck, the trucks pile up—and so does the crowd—as a young bicyclist names and numbers the vehicles in rhyming text. “I start to count each truck I see. / First 1, then 2, and now there are 3.” The use of numerals in the text encourages number recognition and creates a matching game, while spelled numbers are used when appropriate. The yellow-helmeted boy weaves through the action until the solution is clear: the crane truck! His idea saves the day, and with traffic flowing once more, all ends on a deliciously sweet note. Digital illustrations done in a muted pastel palette present an amiable city block as Cyrus takes readers on a cinematic tour of the locale. His strength is in how he uses the boy’s point of view to expand readers’ understanding of the environment, allowing both character and readers to find an answer to the problem. Various perspectives capture the imagination, but the trucks are the real stars of the show.

Truck-lovers will beg for repeat reads, with little ones “reading along” from memory . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5809-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard.


When a fierce wind descends on the barnyard, the animals hear some odd noises…and they’re coming from their own mouths.

The sudden wind unsettles all the animals on the farm just when they should be getting ready for sleep. Instead, they anxiously “cheep” and “cluck” and “oink” and “quack” and “moooo.” They shift nervously, pull together, and make all sorts of noises. All except Turtle, who tucks into his shell under an old log and sleeps. In the morning, though, the animals get a surprise. Pig says, “Cluck”; the Little Chicks say, “Neigh”; Horse crows, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” How will they get their proper sounds back? Turtle has an idea, and he enjoys the process so much that he decides to open his mouth the next time the wind plays tricks at the farm: Perhaps he’ll catch a sound all his own. Chua’s cartoon barnyard is bright, and her animals, expressive, their faces and body language slightly anthropomorphized. The edges of the figures sometimes betray their digital origins. Though the tale is humorous and will give lots of opportunity for practicing animal sounds, the audience is hard to pin down, as the young children sure to enjoy mooing and clucking may not have the patience to sit through the somewhat lengthy text.

For patient listeners, a fun visit to a mixed-up barnyard. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8735-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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In this picture book, pink may be for boys, but colors are still not quite for everyone.


Pink, blue, yellow, and orange—all colors that are for boys, girls, popsicles, and unicorns.

With simple text and vibrant illustrations of racially diverse children playing together, this book introduces 10 colors “for boys. And girls.” For each new color, Pearlman shares an example of where to find the color: on sports uniforms, crowns, race cars, and teddy bears. Each color is presented in simple, repetitive text on verso (alternating which gender as specified first) with a vignette on recto and then on the next, full-bleed double-page spread. Kaban’s illustrations of children dancing, running, and flying on winged unicorns add an element of liveliness to keep the repetition from turning stale. Colored type that corresponds with the name of each introduced color encourages young readers to participate in the story. Although the book shares the message that “all colors are for everyone,” the lead-up to this conclusion perpetuates the notion that gender is binary. The statement that “PINK [or blue, yellow, etc.] is for boys. And girls” leaves out anyone who might not fit those categories until the end. Even the examples for pink and blue reinforce stereotypical associations for the colors, since pink is for “bows on fancy clothes” and blue is for “uniforms on a team.” For a book that aims at inclusiveness, this one misses the bull’s-eye.

In this picture book, pink may be for boys, but colors are still not quite for everyone. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6247-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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