Youngsters will enjoy identifying the various vehicles as they play along.


A favorite preschool pastime—watching an assortment of passing vehicles—takes on a new eco-friendly angle.

From an apartment window, two children enjoy waving and saying “Bye” to the multitude of cars that come along their busy city street. “Bye car. / Bye another car. / Bye near car.” Once they leave the apartment in the company of an adult, their “Bye”s become more descriptive. “Bye grown-up car. / Bye baby car. / Bye big car. / Bye tiny car.” They continue their outing, and the noise and hubbub of city traffic increases. “Bye howling car. / Bye growling car. / Bye noisy car. / Bye quiet car.” Simple yet evocative language is balanced by equally minimalist drawings reflecting a hectic and harried environment dominated by the internal combustion engine, often with cars leaving remnants of exhaust behind. Rieley includes face masks as everyone goes about their business. Turn the page, and it is a new day that is greener, calmer, and more pleasantly quiet. The kids are out on another walk; they pass an e-bus, a light-rail tram, and a plethora of people riding bicycles. Gone are the exhaust fumes as well as the face masks. “Hello vehicles / greener, cleaner. / Hello!” Endpapers reflect the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner-powered transportation. The adult and the older child have olive skin and straight, black hair, and the younger child presents White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Youngsters will enjoy identifying the various vehicles as they play along. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-78628-567-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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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 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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To quote one particularly joyous double-page spread, “Oh, what a ride!”


A succession of forest creatures—and even the river itself—learn from one another and validate their relationships with both one another and the wider world.

The simplicity of the text and the stylized, comical creatures belie the depth of the message that comes through for even the youngest of readers: We are all in this together, and our differences strengthen our unity. The river “didn’t know it was a river…until” Bear accidentally begins riding down it on a piece of broken tree trunk. Bear in turn doesn’t realize he is on an adventure until Froggy lands on his back; lonely Froggy doesn’t know how many friends she has until the wary Turtles show up on the ever-more-swiftly-moving log; the Turtles learn how to enjoy the ride when Beaver climbs aboard; and so on through several more characters until they are all at the brink of a waterfall. Outstanding art perfectly complements the text, showing the animals’ differing personalities while also using color, space, and patterns to create appealing scenery. There are several hilarious double-page spreads, including one from the animals’ collective perspective, showing solely the various feet on the tree-trunk–cum-raft at the waterfall’s edge, and one requiring a 90-degree turn, showing the plummeting animals as they reach for one another—some looking worried and others, like Duck and Beaver, obviously enjoying the sudden drop.

To quote one particularly joyous double-page spread, “Oh, what a ride!”  (author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-46447-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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