The book that’ll give Richard Scarry’s venerable Cars and Trucks and Things That Goa run for its money.



Cars, trucks, and the wheels they rode in on grab the spotlight and won’t let go in this vehicular celebration.

The usual smattering of car/truck/bus facts gets an international kick in the pants. Within the book’s three sections (“Cars,” “Trucks,” and “Wheels”), readers delve deep into rhymes, chants, very short stories, and more. There’s even more onomatopoeia than is usually found in a book full of vehicle facts. In this way the book is designed to appeal to those younger readers who appreciate hearing that a tow truck’s platform tips up with a “whoosh, bop.” One section even allows kids to “drive” a tractor from its cab, though the onomatopoeia here comes from farm animals readers see on either side of the windshield and dial-studded dashboard. On occasion the book may be overoptimistic. Kids may thrill to the array of “Future Cars” and the wonders the book proposes, but the promise that “soon we will all be taking rides in electric cars, buses, and trucks” may not be borne out, at least within a child’s understanding of “soon.” The book is admirable in its worldwide scope, as when it surveys the different designs to be found on trucks in India, Pakistan, Japan, and Peru. It stumbles in describing the Dakar Rally exclusively as a South American event (it began as a Paris-Dakar race and is now held in Saudi Arabia). While text often resembles poetry, only some reaches for rhyme.

The book that’ll give Richard Scarry’s venerable Cars and Trucks and Things That Goa run for its money. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-244-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Smoother rides are out there.


From the Beginner Books series

Mommy and Bonnie—two anthropomorphic rodents—go for a joyride and notice a variety of conveyances around their busy town.

The pair encounter 22 types of vocational vehicles as they pass various sites, including a fire engine leaving a firehouse, a school bus approaching a school, and a tractor trailer delivering goods to a supermarket. Narrated in rhyming quatrains, the book describes the jobs that each wheeled machine does. The text uses simple vocabulary and sentences, with sight words aplenty. Some of the rhymes don't scan as well as others, and the description of the mail truck’s role ("A mail truck brings / letters and cards / to mailboxes / in people's yards) ignores millions of readers living in yardless dwellings. The colorful digitally illustrated spreads are crowded with animal characters of every type hustling and bustling about. Although the art is busy, observant viewers may find humor in details such as a fragile item falling out of a moving truck, a line of ducks holding up traffic, and a squirrel’s spilled ice cream. For younger children enthralled by vehicles, Sally Sutton’s Roadwork (2011) and Elizabeth Verdick’s Small Walt series provide superior text and art and kinder humor. Children who have little interest in cars, trucks, and construction equipment may find this offering a yawner. Despite being advertised as a beginner book, neither text nor art recommend this as an engaging choice for children starting to read independently. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Smoother rides are out there. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-37725-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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An informative book that should fire young imaginations and foster an interest in the ways we take to the skies.


From the Finn's Fun Trucks series

Vehicle-loving author Coyle turns his attention skyward in this guide to flying conveyances.

Following the format of previous volumes in the Finn’s Fun Trucks series, a racially diverse crew, apparently three men and two women in this case, presents five different types of aircraft and explains the features and uses of each. Featured types of transport are a jumbo jet, glider, seaplane, helicopter, and “spaceplane” (space shuttle). Each vehicle is named by its pilot via dialogue balloon on verso and illustrated on the facing page, with three key features identified. That page then folds open to show the craft in action: “A helicopter can fly straight up and down. / This makes flying possible when there isn’t enough room for a plane to take off or land.” The book concludes with the five pilots asking, “Can you guess all the places our crew can fly?” The facing picture of all five vehicles folds open to show them all at work, with the answer: “EVERYWHERE!” The crew is depicted in a pleasantly cartoonish form, and the aircraft are rendered realistically, with appropriate detail. The foldout pages invite children’s participation and should help to keep even the squirmiest young readers engaged. The simultaneously published Space Squad volume encourages children to look even further upward and outward.

An informative book that should fire young imaginations and foster an interest in the ways we take to the skies. (Board book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4867-1548-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Flowerpot Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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