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I LIKE MY CAR

From the I Like To Read series

Though it’s not groundbreaking, this book is bound to please beginning readers with automotive fixations and patience for no...

Fishes of the sea, birds of the air, and critters of the land unite around a single belief: Their cars rock!

Even struggling readers will be challenged to find anything at all difficult in this latest entry in the I Like to Read series. It certainly won’t be the writing, as all pages contain only the words “I like my…car,” the sole textual variation being the color of each vehicle and a single “too.” Nor will they tussle with the plot, such as it is. As readers watch, a series of jaunty animals, each tucked snug behind the wheel of their conveyances (the sole exception being the chauffeured poodle in a limo), declares their fondness for their autos. Saving the book from utter innocuousness is its 1950s-vibed art. The endpapers sport such snazzy accoutrements as fuzzy dice; the style of each car is apt and distinctive; subtle in-jokes (a turtle applies a coat of wax; a pine-shaped air freshener dangles from the shark’s rearview mirror) abound. With each detail, Robertson’s mix of digital and physical art (including an etching press, water-based printing inks, and an onion bag) pays off. As they should, these drivers revel in their cars’ flashy, colorful looks, and they are set against some seriously mod backdrops.

Though it’s not groundbreaking, this book is bound to please beginning readers with automotive fixations and patience for no more than six words to a page. (Picture book/early reader. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3951-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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DIGGERSAURS

Count on construction die-hards falling in love, but discerning readers would be wise to look elsewhere for their...

Less ambitious than Chris Gall’s widely known Dinotrux (2009) and sequels, this British import systematically relegates each dinosaur/construction-equipment hybrid to its most logical job.

The title figures are introduced as bigger than both diggers and dinosaurs, and rhyming text and two construction-helmeted kids show just what these creatures are capable of. Each diggersaur has a specific job to do and a distinct sound effect. The dozersaurus moves rocks with a “SCRAAAAPE!!!” while the rollersaurus flattens lumps with a cheery “TOOT TOOT!!” Each diggersaur is numbered, with 12 in all, allowing this to be a counting book on the sly. As the diggersaurs (not all of which dig) perform jobs that regular construction equipment can do, albeit on a larger scale, there is no particular reason why any of them should have dinosaurlike looks other than just ’cause. Peppy computer art tries valiantly to attract attention away from the singularly unoriginal text. “Diggersaurs dig with bites so BIG, / each SCOOP creates a crater. // They’re TOUGH and STRONG / with necks so long— / they’re super EXCAVATORS!” Far more interesting are the two human characters, a white girl and a black boy, that flit about the pictures offering commentary and action. Much of the fun of the book can be found in trying to spot them on every two-page spread.

Count on construction die-hards falling in love, but discerning readers would be wise to look elsewhere for their dino/construction kicks. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-4779-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

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

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 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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