Only the extinct would fail to enjoy this kicky amalgamation of dinos, deals, and automobiles.

WHAT KIND OF CAR DOES A T. REX DRIVE?

Dinosaurs and vehicular modes of transportation meld in symbiotic bliss.

What’s a used car salesman to do? Ava and Mickey’s uncle Otto is having a summer sale, but the customers aren’t coming. Or are they? When dinosaurs arrive looking for wheels, the kids’ dino knowledge helps to put the right terrible lizard in the right car. The herbivorous stegosaurus gets one that it can take off the road and into the forests, for instance. Then a T. Rex with a short fuse arrives on the scene, and it’ll be curtains for our heroes unless they can find him the best transport (and pronto!). Colorful and goofy, even the Rex, these dinos are the visual stars of this show. Much of the brush and ink work (colored digitally) appears simple, but details lurk, such as the perpetually changing signs around the lot. And one of the best unspoken gags is how every ungainly creature gamely drives off the lot, no matter how oversized they might be. The range of cars exceeds that of dinosaurs, but kids who are fans of either will find plenty to enjoy. Alas, while the book does take care to include a female dino in the mix, she stereotypically buys the only vehicle with flowers on it and calls a saleskid “a dear.” Ava, Mickey, and Uncle Otto all have light skin and straight, black hair.

Only the extinct would fail to enjoy this kicky amalgamation of dinos, deals, and automobiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4123-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily.

THE HUGASAURUS

A group of young “dinosauruses” go out into the world on their own.

A fuchsia little Hugasaurus and her Pappysaur (both of whom resemble Triceratops) have never been apart before, but Hugasaurus happily heads off with lunchbox in hand and “wonder in her heart” to make new friends. The story has a first-day-of-school feeling, but Hugasaurus doesn’t end up in a formal school environment; rather, she finds herself on a playground with other little prehistoric creatures, though no teacher or adult seems to be around. At first, the new friends laugh and play. But Hugasaurus’ pals begin to squabble, and play comes to a halt. As she wonders what to do, a fuzzy platypus playmate asks some wise questions (“What…would your Pappy say to do? / What makes YOU feel better?”), and Hugasaurus decides to give everyone a hug—though she remembers to ask permission first. Slowly, good humor is restored and play begins anew with promises to be slow to anger and, in general, to help create a kinder world. Short rhyming verses occasionally use near rhyme but also include fun pairs like ripples and double-triples. Featuring cozy illustrations of brightly colored creatures, the tale sends a strong message about appropriate and inappropriate ways to resolve conflict, the final pages restating the lesson plainly in a refrain that could become a classroom motto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-82869-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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