Chugging its way onto the bookshelves of vehicle-loving children everywhere.

READ REVIEW

TRAINS CHUG

From the Amazing Changing Pictures series

Powerful locomotives, simple sentences, and vigorous sound effects propel the latest entry in the expanding Amazing Changing Pictures board-book series for toddlers.

This and companion volumes Boats Float and Fire Trucks Rescue are the latest entries in what could just as well be called the Nouns Verb series. Like Glaser’s animal-focused board books (Puppies Chase, 2017, etc.), this trio features a well-curated selection of beautiful stock photographs and short declarative sentences, assorted sounds, and occasional questions. The simple, age-appropriate text ranges from illustrative noises (“Chugga, chugga. CHOO CHOO!”) to more existential concepts: “Where does the train go? / Follow the tracks. CLICKETY-CLACK!” The sound effects make for fun reading aloud for children and caregivers alike, with easily grasped, repeatable phrases. There is a smattering of useful vocabulary in each volume and enough variety and information in each photograph to introduce other terms and concepts as well, from scenic details (mountains, rivers, and forests, for example) to the steam from the engine’s smokestack and the passengers in the train station. The book’s 14 pages are presented in two-page spreads dominated by each photo, with text arranged on thin monochromatic strips in the margin. Sound effects are set in large, bold type, reminding readers to put some oomph into their delivery. These durable books are eye-catching, engaging, and quick and painless to repeat upon request.

Chugging its way onto the bookshelves of vehicle-loving children everywhere. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68152-242-5

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Amicus Ink

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Other books cover the same ground. Still, the interactive possibilities, salient information, and predictable text make this...

LET'S GO, CONSTRUCTION TRUCKS!

Active toddlers will quickly figure out how to make the interactive wheels on this board book spin in tandem.

Initially part of a dump truck, with successive page turns, the raised wheels embedded in two die-cut circles cut through each page become part of a steamroller, excavator, concrete mixer, bulldozer, and more. This design works for the youngest builders, but older toddlers will wonder why the caterpillar treads of the streamroller, excavator, and crane don’t move with the wheels. The final vehicle, a crane, reveals the trick that makes the wheels turn together—a center sprocket. Two sentences of rhyming text per page provide basic information about each truck and its role on a construction site. One (seemingly arbitrarily chosen) word in each sentence is highlighted in a larger font. The name of each vehicle is also printed in enlarged type in white block letters outlined in a contrasting color. Pictures of the chunky, colorful vehicles against solid-color backgrounds give toddlers something else to talk about, but turning the pages and spinning the wheels remain the focus. The repetitive text on the recto page below the wheels quickly becomes a refrain for young readers: “Make my wheels spin. Let construction begin!”

Other books cover the same ground. Still, the interactive possibilities, salient information, and predictable text make this title road ready for the sandbox set. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-25681-9

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A book for car-loving kids.

ME AND MY CARS

A concept book about many kinds of vehicles.

Simple, first-person text translated from Dutch and delivered by a child, is divided into four sections: “Want to come for a ride?”; “Want to help?”; “Want to get some work done?”; and “Want to race along?” In all but the final section, which has but two race cars, the child introduces several kinds of vehicles, one per double-page spread, as racially diverse, unnamed characters interact with them. The “work” section includes a tractor, garbage truck, street sweeper, bulldozer, excavator, dump truck, and crane truck. The brief “help” section includes an ambulance, police car, police van, fire engine, and a tow truck. The lengthy, first section about “a ride” isn’t so straightforward and includes a car, bus, jeep, camper, ice cream truck, moving van, delivery van, limousine, semi truck, tanker, and car transporter. Those listed after the camper in the first section aren’t vehicles that the child rides in, and many readers might feel they’d be more appropriately located in the working-vehicle section. There is no story to follow, but bright, boldly colored illustrations with thick outlines and cheery characters match the direct text’s style and evoke the feel of Lucy Cousins’ work. The narrator has a perfectly round face, pink skin, and dark hair.

A book for car-loving kids. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-60537-399-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Clavis

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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