A humorous and spirited counting tale for young readers.

GOOD NIGHT (NOT REALLY)

LET’S COUNT FORWARD AND BACKWARD

In this counting picture book, a bedtime story features plenty of action.

Counting from one to 10, Lisa, a red-haired White girl, and Charlie, a Black boy, describe a story filled with madcap events. For instance, they say the tale is “so noisy, it’s like 3 billy goats are having a meeting.” They also explain that it’s “so Buzzy, it’s like 4 little fairies are fluttering around in the bathroom all trying to brush their tiny teeth at once,” and it’s “so mixed-up, it’s like 8 BIG mice are playing tag with 9 mini cats in the front yard.” When it’s time for bed, Charlie and Lisa count backward from 10 to one, recalling each happening. They admit that it’s “SO hard to sleep with all of this hubbub going on” because “this is NOT REALLY a good night book” but a “GOOD MORNING book.” The story concludes: “Wake up, kids! Welcome to this special day!” Evenson’s zany tale packed with creative scenes will aptly introduce youngsters to basic counting skills. The imaginative incidents have kid appeal, such as the “candy explosion in the playroom.” Matkevych’s colorful, lively illustrations offer animated renderings with charming details, including where critters cozily slumber. Readers will enjoy anthropomorphic characters like the smiling broccoli florets and gardening tools. The last spread integrates the players and elements from each episode, such as the two “big and bad” elephants playing on the seven “wacky swings.”

A humorous and spirited counting tale for young readers.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-83934-335-3

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Bumblebee Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2022

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ROADWORK

Sutton’s latest is a truck-lover’s dream come true—repetition, rhyme and onomatopoeia form the text, while construction trucks vie for readers’ attention in the illustrations. The result is a wonderfully noisy look at how roads are built. From a line on a map and an empty field to the finished road complete with lights and signs, youngsters will be able to follow all the steps, learning all the vehicles that take part in the process (a final page introduces readers to each one). “Pack the ground. Pack the ground. / Roll one way, then back. / Make the roadbed good and hard. / Clang! Crunch! Crack!” Lovelock’s debut certainly makes an impression. His pigmented ink illustrations keep the focus on the machines and the individual parts they play in building the road. The level of detail matches the text’s intended audience—enough to satisfy, not so much as to overwhelm. Pave the way to this book’s shelf; perfect for read-alouds, it will be a hit whether shared with a group or one-on-one. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3912-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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