ALL ABOARD!

LET'S RIDE A TRAIN

Right on track! (Board book. 3-6)

This delightful board book unfolds to become a train almost 6 feet long with lots to explore in each car.

Each page in this concertina-structured book is a train car covered by a big flap, hinged at the top of the page. Lift the flap, and the interior of the car is revealed. Readers can unfold the book to see the train in its full length. Anthropomorphized animals and a multiethnic, multicultural cast of characters constitute the passengers on the train. Colorful cartoonlike illustrations include a gnome, a brawny, kilted white Scot, a scholarly looking bald eagle, a sleeping vampire, and a yoga-practicing giraffe. On the cover readers see a brown-skinned young passenger boarding the train sporting a bright red-and-yellow baseball cap over a black Afro. As the book unfolds, the baseball cap is now missing, and readers will follow the intrepid passenger from car to car on the search for the baseball cap. In each car there are colors to spot, shapes to find, noisy things to identify, and lots of details to take in. On the verso, there is also much to see and identify as the train makes its traverse from countryside to urban setting. Young children and their adult readers will find plenty to keep them engaged.

Right on track! (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2567-8

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

BUSY STREET

From the Beginner Books series

Smoother rides are out there.

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. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Close Quickview