A sweet lesson in appreciating who we are rather than focusing on what we are not.

READ REVIEW

DAISY THE DIGGER

From the Whizzy Wheels Academy series

At Whizzy Wheels Academy, Daisy the digger learns that everyone has their own role to play and that she’s capable of things she’d never dreamed she could do.

There’s a lot to like in this book for heavy-equipment–loving toddlers. First, it’s durable—close to indestructible, even. Second, author Bently employs a broader vocabulary and more complex sentence structures than in many similarly themed offerings, making it a nice bridge to traditional picture books. It’s also nice to see a book for truck-loving tots that skews away from gender stereotyping of its characters and audience; here, there are no fewer than three named heavy-equipment characters with traditionally female names: Daisy, Clare the crane, and Tess the tractor. (Daisy and Clare both explicitly use feminine pronouns.) The story effectively deals with themes of handling disappointment, feeling left out, overcoming a lack of confidence, and recognizing that people (and trucks) have different strengths and weaknesses. When academy instructor Rusty announces that the vehicles will be taking a trip off the grounds to practice driving on real roads, Daisy’s excited until she learns that her heavy tracks aren’t built for roads. But when a landslide strands her friends, Daisy finds her heavy treads make her ideal to come to the rescue. Companion title Dylan the Dump Truck publishes simultaneously and introduces both Dylan and Emma the excavator.

A sweet lesson in appreciating who we are rather than focusing on what we are not. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-71124-332-3

Page Count: 20

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

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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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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