Firefighter-loving kids will jump over candlesticks to get their hands on these cute and capable emergency workers.

MOTHER GOOSE TO THE RESCUE!

When there’s a fire to be tackled, only a qualified nursery-rhyme crew will do!

Pink-coiffed Mother Goose may look demure when reading in her House of Rhyme, but when there is danger, she springs into action! The Queen of Tarts is facing a bakery fire, so it’s up to the famous fowl and her crew of multiracial nursery-rhyme characters to put it out. After “gear[ing] up in forty seconds flat,” everyone races to the fire. At the blaze, they display a wide array of different firefighting techniques, including the use of water cannons, a fire ax, dirt, a bucket brigade, and helicopters with bucket scoops (loaded with jam). The familiar stars of everyone’s favorite rhymes pair nicely with this technical know-how of equipment and expertise. Chief M. Goose herself commands from a “high-tech rig” tricked out with radios and a satellite. Rhymes scan consistently, and female-presenting characters are given just as much agency as their male-presenting counterparts. Insider nursery-rhyme jokes also abound. For example, the last readers see of the heroic squad, they’re heading off to answer an emergency call from Ladybug. One might quibble about the fact that dumping jam on a fire would almost certainly intensify it, but in the end the book’s having too much fun to care. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22% of actual size.)

Firefighter-loving kids will jump over candlesticks to get their hands on these cute and capable emergency workers. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-09357-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Similar to Lenny Hort’s Seals on the Bus, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2000), this treatment populates the bus with a...

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS

Cabrera continues to adapt nursery rhymes and children’s songs (Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, 2010, etc.) into interactive picture books for the young preschool set, here taking on that beloved bus ride.

Similar to Lenny Hort’s Seals on the Bus, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2000), this treatment populates the bus with a menagerie of African animals ranging from the common lion and zebra to lesser-known flamingos and bush babies. Most animals make a trio of sounds, like the monkeys’ “Chatter, chatter, chatter” or the hyena’s “Ha, ho, hee,” but on occasion there is action: The chameleon “plays Hide-and-seek.” The tale ends as the giraffe driver delivers the wild riders to a watering hole with a satisfying “SPLISH! SPLASH! SPLOSH! All day long!” Readers will enjoy the journey Cabrera illustrates with her easily recognizable style—bright hues outlined in black, with a finger-paint–like texture.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2350-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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