A sweet meditation on the value of creating, regardless of use.

READ REVIEW

CRAFTY LLAMA

Llama and Beaver both enjoy making things, but for different reasons.

One day, Llama decides she wants to make something but isn’t sure what. Nevertheless, she starts knitting. Friends visit, and each decides to start on a project, too. One paints, and others embroider, bead, weave baskets, or sew. Beaver drops in on the crafty gathering. He likes to make things, too, but his projects have to be “useful.” He asks Llama how her knitting will be used, but she admits she has no idea. Friends gather to suggest different ways it could be used—as a sail, rocket ship, hot air balloon basket, each depicted in meticulous stockinette stitch that’s hand-drawn but almost looks photo-collaged in—but none seem safe. Beaver leaves to think up an idea of his own. Thinking harder, Llama discovers ways her knitting can be useful—and Beaver ends up making something useful but lovely too. Soft-edged, whimsically anthropomorphized animals are downright adorable, especially as each friend shows their gratitude to Llama for their new, knitted “somethings” (a trunk carrier for Elephant; a turtleneck for Turtle). Husband-and-wife team Kerr and Liwska combine their love of handmade crafts in this book designed to spark interest in crafts with young readers. Like Llama and Beaver, they will see that despite having different outlooks, there are many ways to work together.

A sweet meditation on the value of creating, regardless of use. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-121-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 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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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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