There are lots of vehicle-themed alphabet books, but very few are as all-inclusive as this one is. Despite the one flaw,...

LET'S GO ABC!

THINGS THAT GO, FROM A TO Z

Here’s another ABC devoted to “Things That Go.”

What gives this transportation alphabet a leg up are the animal characters that act out the scenes. Many of the vehicles that represent the letters are familiar, such as an airplane, a bus, a helicopter, a Jeep, and a limo. Others are more unexpected: dog sled, gondola, “EMS Truck,” quad bike, unicycle, “eXpress Train,” and zeppelin. The rhythmic, rhyming text is related in first-person voice by each of the vehicles highlighted, while a cast of (mostly) animals rides along. Though not a seek-and-find book, per se, details add additional items coordinated to the letters to look for. A parrot drives a police car as a panda holds a pencil and a pad of paper, for example. On the spread featuring the letters M and N, a mustachioed (and helmeted) mouse rides a motorcycle with a map sticking out of its back pocket, while a narwhal, newt, and, possibly, nuthatch ride a narrowboat. (Unfortunately, there is no legend in the back to identify objects and characters, so the little brown bird in the narrowboat may have caregivers looking through their field guides or just giving up.) It’s the interactions among the cast of animals that generate the fun in the full-spread illustrations.

There are lots of vehicle-themed alphabet books, but very few are as all-inclusive as this one is. Despite the one flaw, this book soars. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3509-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it.

THE OLD BOAT

A multigenerational tale of a boat’s life with a Black family, written by two brothers who loved similar boats.

In the opening spread, a smiling, brown-skinned adult dangles a line from the back of a green-and-white boat while a boy peers eagerly over the side at the sea life. The text never describes years passing, but each page turn reveals the boy’s aging, more urban development on the shore, increasing water pollution, marine-life changes (sea jellies abound on one page), and shifting water levels. Eventually, the boy, now a teenager, steers the boat, and as an adult, he fishes alone but must go farther and farther out to sea to make his catch. One day, the man loses his way, capsizes in a storm, and washes up on a small bay island, with the overturned, sunken boat just offshore. Now a “new sailor” cleans up the land and water with others’ help. The physical similarities between the shipwrecked sailor and the “new sailor” suggest that this is not a new person but one whose near-death experience has led to an epiphany that changes his relationship to water. As the decaying boat becomes a new marine habitat, the sailor teaches the next generation (a child with hair in two Afro puffs) to fish. Focusing primarily on the sea, the book’s earth-toned illustrations, created with hundreds of stamps, carry the compelling plot.

A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-324-00517-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more