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

READ REVIEW

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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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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