From the Abrams Extend a Book series

The commercial angle may earn sales, but the train may be running out of steam.

Licensed Disney characters and hidden items galore await discovery on the latest fold-out train in this well received series.

Following the general track of previous entries, readers are invited to join Mickey Mouse on a quest for his hidden kite. Unfolding pages and lifting up large flaps on their way through the train, they are challenged to pick out significant details like green, red, sour, and sweet foods on a laden table in the dining car, zigzags and stripes on a blizzard of hair bows created in the lounge car by fellow passenger Minnie, and dozens of acorns scattered throughout by Chip and Dale, among others. A landscape on the back sides of the cars offers opportunities to count sheep and spot a few more surprises. Poring over each car’s crowded contents offers distractions and discoveries aplenty—but it’s hard not to notice that Kolb devotes more attention to the settings than to the Disney content. He depicts the cartoon cast members looking at each other or off into the distance rather than at viewers and Mickey, cast as the chatty narrator, with his mouth closed most of the time. The figures look posed rather than expressive…not exactly pasted in, but not really participating in the action either. The sense of disconnection extends to the narrative, in which all of the characters appearing here consistently get name checks except Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

The commercial angle may earn sales, but the train may be running out of steam. (Board book/novelty. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5236-0

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021


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 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016


Especially for fans of big trucks and machinery.

When hard work needs to get done, who’re you gonna call?

Young construction-vehicle mavens will enjoy this fun romp that takes them through a cheery bright-orange excavator’s typical workday: crushing garbage and loading it into a dump truck; helping with the installation of a new water pipe after the old one broke and spewed water through a city street; and digging a deep, wide hole in which to plant the mayor’s new tree. Through all these tough, painstaking tasks, the excavator “wears” an ever present smiling face, headlights standing in for large, bright eyes. Jaunty verses that mostly read and scan well narrate the brisk proceedings, and listeners are likely to want to chime in whenever the excavator’s assistance is called for in refrains such as “We need you, Orange Excavator!”—set in orange type, of course. The unfamiliar word excavator in itself should excite little ones because of its length, juicy mouth feel, and aural appeal. Kids will also appreciate the lively, though generic, illustrations; enhancing visual interest are several words throughout set in larger, colored capitals. The excavator’s driver is brown-skinned; other workers and passersby are diverse in skin tone and age. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Especially for fans of big trucks and machinery. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-20240-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

Close Quickview