A seaside bedtime book capturing a delightful day of beach exploration.

READ REVIEW

HERE COMES OCEAN

Toes get quite a workout at the beach.

Think about it—certainly Fleming has. On a sunshiny day, a family with two parents, one child, and a dog has the beach to itself. Always accompanied by a curious crab, the child and dog explore. Toes cool and splash in the water, dig and sink into the sand, cling to rocks, race from the incoming tide, and finally link with one another around the dad’s back as the child falls asleep in his arms. Long kelp stems become “ropy lassos” and the dog’s tug of war toy. As night falls, the action slows, and a bioluminescent scene emerges. “Moon beach. Night beach. Sparkly swish. / Wish upon a night-light fish.” Scenes are described using short rhyming couplets with an interesting word pattern and the titular refrain, printed in an ever increasing font as the tide comes in and the sound of the waves crescendos until the two explorers are swamped by a large wave. “Too MUCH ocean!” Warm, realistic illustrations alternate between general beach scenes and close-ups of natural treasures like sand dollars, shorebirds, and tide-pool–dwelling starfish, algae, anemone, and barnacles. Illustrations on endpapers identify some of the creatures, but although many varieties are illustrated, kelp is the only algae named. The parents appear to be interracial, the mom’s skin light brown and the dad’s white; the child protagonist presents white.

A seaside bedtime book capturing a delightful day of beach exploration. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2883-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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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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