A fun and useful educational tool for preschoolers, particularly beginning readers. (Board book. 4-6)


From the All Aboard series

There’s so much to see on the airport train.

One of the passengers on the airport train has lost her ticket! In this lift-the-flap concertina book, readers travel from car to car of the aforementioned train, searching for both the missing ticket and for other objects hidden within the pictures. Each illustration requires a different preschool skill, including recognizing shapes, counting, and matching. The images feature diverse humans and quirky creatures, not to mention skillfully drawn, child-friendly objects such as instruments and balls. The clean design separates the text from the illustrations, which are busy and teeming with life. Once they have completed the activities within the train cars, readers can flip to the backs of the pages to see what passengers are viewing out of the windows and to do more counting and identification. The pages of the book pull out into a full train, and it lacks any kind of narrative throughline, making it unwieldy for group read-alouds. It is, however, a wonderful option for one-on-one learning sessions and for children who are independent enough to manipulate the pages on their own—although it should be noted that the design, while clever, can be confusing and, at times, frustrating for the youngest readers.

A fun and useful educational tool for preschoolers, particularly beginning readers. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3678-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Another breezy sail past things that go.



From the Everything Goes series

Biggs ferries young viewers past floating fleets in his latest set of bustling cartoon surveys.

The voyage is sandwiched between sequences of big, wordless before and after panels. It begins when a vacationing family drives aboard a Center City ferry. After casting off, it navigates past themed gatherings of working boats and gigantic ships; craft of various sizes and historical periods driven by oars, motors or sails; houseboats and more. It docks in the wake of a climactic double gatefold in an entire harbor full of diverse vessels. Along the way, minidisquisitions on sails and propellers, cargo shipping, submarines, cruise ships and other nautical topics are delivered with plenty of sight gags and side business. Signal flags spell out “fish fry tonight,” and a fishing boat dubbed Archimedes demonstrates buoyancy and displacement, for instance. Biggs adds cutaway views as well as labels, jokes (“How long do you think the trip will take?” “About fifty-six pages”), review questions and occasional selfies to his full but not overstuffed scenes.

Another breezy sail past things that go. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-195811-3

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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An early-reader book to build on.


An accessible, rhyming text drives this story-with-a-twist about a construction site, inviting new readers to hone their emerging skills.

Initial spreads depict a variety of vehicles engaged in digging, scooping, lifting and so on, detailing the activities of a construction site. Varied visual perspectives in the art draw the eyes to the different machines, but they can be disorienting—particularly in the worm’s-eye view on the spread reading “Digger’s teeth bite the ground,” which does not show the “[t]racks skid[ding] around” as indicated by the text. On the other hand, while some readers may wonder why the vehicles’ operators are not seen in the art, this omission is satisfyingly resolved in a long-shot spread that depicts a group of children playing with toy trucks in a sand pile. The vehicles are clearly miniversions of those from prior pages, and it’s refreshing to see both boys and girls and at least one child of color included in the group “working like a team.” From here, the narrative draws the children’s play to a conclusion by book’s end, providing readers with a fictive parallel to their own accomplishments in finishing the book: “Good work, crew!”

An early-reader book to build on. (Early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-96910-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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