An entertaining offering for the nature shelf and preschool storytime.

MY NAME ISN'T OOF!

WARREN THE WARBLER TAKES FLIGHT

After an unsuccessful first attempt, a fledgling warbler learns to fly.

When a young Townsend’s warbler makes his first attempt at flight, he falls with an “OOF!” Happily, the talking animals who encounter him help him figure out the necessary technique. Galligan’s debut picture book offers an amusing story with an unstated but clear if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed lesson. His fable is based on actual fledgling behavior; the aftermatter offers sensible suggestions to would-be bird rescuers. The opening line promises Seussian verse: “At the edge of a nest, on the brink of a branch, / wobbled a warbler named Warren.” What follows is more prosaic. Still, there are grand action verbs: “A chipmunk bounced”; a “mouse skittered”; a “squirrel skipped”; a “rabbit hopped”; and a “skunk waddled.” Each time one animal tries to tell the next what has happened, there’s a collision. Lively and full of slapstick, this could inspire active imitation in preschool listeners. Cheerful oil paintings showing cartoonlike but perfectly identifiable animals add to the humor and good feeling. At one point, the skunk sympathetically gathers the bruised and frightened fledgling and a chipmunk in its arms. Backmatter also includes more about hatchlings, nestlings, and fledglings as well as this particular warbler species, native to the Pacific Northwest (shown in an actual photograph).

An entertaining offering for the nature shelf and preschool storytime. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-193-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 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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An adventurous treat of a bedtime story.

BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES

A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed.

The story opens with a toddler, fists raised into the air, proclaiming, “No! No! No!” Thank goodness this not-at-the-moment-sweet creature’s mother is patient and creative as she corrals her child into a bedtime routine that may feel familiar to many readers. The words and behaviors of the child evading bed are translated into animal sounds and behaviors: wide-eyed and asking “Who? Who?” like an owl; shaking hair and roaring like a lion; hanging on for a hug like a koala. And, of course, the requisite leaving bed for a last trip to the bathroom and drink, like a human child. Zunon’s art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. Additionally, the expressions on the faces of the mother, child, and animals speak volumes, portraying the emotions of each. Arguably, the sweetest part of the story comes at the end, when the child asks to sleep with Mommy and Dad. Though the mother sighs, the child climbs in, along with “owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf.” (Readers attuned to details will notice the father’s look of delight at the parade of animals.) All characters are Black.

An adventurous treat of a bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3832-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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