The mood is the same as a pajama storytime or a trip in the car just at bedtime—exciting yet contained and comforting.

READ REVIEW

AND AWAY WE GO!

An urbane, adventuresome fox provides an evening’s entertainment for an eclectic company in this nighttime escapade aloft.

When his hot air balloon is delivered, Mr. Fox wastes no time. He opens the crate in the park and climbs into the basket under a starry sky, lighted skyscrapers all around. He plans to fly to the moon. His gradual ascent allows for an elephant, a giraffe and a rhino, some show-business squirrels and high-construction–worker rabbits to join him. They acquire provisions (pizza, some milkshakes)—and of course, as some children may anticipate, one passenger too many. The sparkling skyline and lighted streets are a sweet homage to New York and serve as a lively background to this cumulative journey. Marquees and lighted signs indicate the “Fox City” music hall along with several vintage record stores and other oddly enticing places. Some of the animals look a bit worried as the balloon’s basket gets precariously more crowded, yet all seem to welcome each newcomer. Migy’s cheerful, retro line with his bright-eyed animal characters and vivid colors against deep navy offer a feeling of familiarity. While the journey’s end, not on the moon, is possibly unexpected, there’s a sense of successful adventuring nevertheless.

The mood is the same as a pajama storytime or a trip in the car just at bedtime—exciting yet contained and comforting. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9901-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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