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

I LIKE MY CAR

From the I Like To Read series

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 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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