A young superhero duels with another in Jones and Motz’s (Harvest Time at Sheldon’s Blueberry Farm, 2013) sequel picture book.
Jaloonsville’s costumed Blueberry Boy, aka Sheldon Bilberry, is driving a purple train to pick up berries from his farming operation and bring them back to town. His friend Lou serves as dispatcher in an oddly boxlike building (not quite aligned with the track in Motz’s illustration). The evening takes a strange turn when Sheldon spots another train with an almost identical driver: a masked boy dressed in red. After the Blueberry Express picks up deliveries from an ethnically diverse group of harvesters (who are oddly all male), Sheldon must face off against Cran Man. His superpowers help him realize that his rival’s cranberries have gone bad, leaving Cran Man in tears. Sheldon reminds him to learn from his mistakes, instead of focusing on failures. The story’s conflict is light, although sensitive kids may worry about Cran Man’s ultimate fate. Science-minded readers may wonder why the cranberries were picked at the wrong time, starting a conversation about the harvest periods of various fruits. This third series entry is sure to please fans, but will likely leave newcomers feeling unmoored in the unfamiliar setting.
Silly, superpowered fun.