A delight for the youngest of truck aficionados. Go, dogs. Go!

Dogs and trucks and things that go.

Gentle rhyming text and simple words introduce child readers to a wide variety of vehicles, all driven by anthropomorphic dogs. “Tug truck. Tow truck. / Steady as you go, truck!” But from early on, readers will note things are amiss. The driver of a tow truck fails to notice that the car they’re moving is losing its parts. Garbage trucks hold up traffic. A truck carrying a wide load (an enormous bone) is bashing barriers. Then, in a two-page spread of catastrophe, chaos escalates, with trucks crushing cars or causing some other calamity. Fortunately, by the story’s end, problems are solved, and a new “Fun Bark” has opened. It’s refreshing to see that, unlike a large swath of truck books, particularly those guided by animals, this one dares to dive deep into a magnificent fiasco. And for those adults that will be subjected to this book regularly, hidden details may make repeated viewings easier (example: The supervisor about to be buried in dirt on one page shows up later, still on the phone but covered in muck). The cast of characters remains consistent throughout, with some given eyelashes, presumably to indicate females. All told, these dogs will give young readers something to howl about.

A delight for the youngest of truck aficionados. Go, dogs. Go! (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68263-302-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021


Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016


Especially for fans of big trucks and machinery.

When hard work needs to get done, who’re you gonna call?

Young construction-vehicle mavens will enjoy this fun romp that takes them through a cheery bright-orange excavator’s typical workday: crushing garbage and loading it into a dump truck; helping with the installation of a new water pipe after the old one broke and spewed water through a city street; and digging a deep, wide hole in which to plant the mayor’s new tree. Through all these tough, painstaking tasks, the excavator “wears” an ever present smiling face, headlights standing in for large, bright eyes. Jaunty verses that mostly read and scan well narrate the brisk proceedings, and listeners are likely to want to chime in whenever the excavator’s assistance is called for in refrains such as “We need you, Orange Excavator!”—set in orange type, of course. The unfamiliar word excavator in itself should excite little ones because of its length, juicy mouth feel, and aural appeal. Kids will also appreciate the lively, though generic, illustrations; enhancing visual interest are several words throughout set in larger, colored capitals. The excavator’s driver is brown-skinned; other workers and passersby are diverse in skin tone and age. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Especially for fans of big trucks and machinery. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-20240-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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