Attractive and generally useful but quickly parked on the bookshelf.

THINGS THAT GO

From the Little Kids First Board Book series

Sturdy pages and large pictures should be a hit for toddlers on the go.

The cover photo of a red sports car promises excitement. Inside, stock photos of readily recognized vehicles invite youngsters to imagine themselves in the drivers’ seats. (Drivers, when shown, wear appropriate safety gear.) Each double-page spread includes a picture of one vehicle; most are on just one page, but the fire engine, passenger train, helicopter, and single-engine airplane pictures span their spreads. Choosing just 11 vehicles to represent all “things that go” leads to some rather specific choices: a double-decker bus, a snowmobile, and hot air balloon. The likelihood of a young child seeing a logging truck is slim outside of logging country, though other types of “tractor trailers” crowd highways all over. The name of each vehicle is printed in contrasting type within one descriptive sentence: “The motorcycle roars down the road.” Another factoid is highlighted in a yellow dot: “Wheels roll to make things go. Motorcycles have two wheels.” Snarky asides (“I never tire”) in white speech bubbles may keep the attention of adult readers but will only distract toddlers. Little kids won’t get the jokes, nor will they sit still for the four-question quiz on the final spread.

Attractive and generally useful but quickly parked on the bookshelf. (Numbered pages) (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3698-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good.

SHAPE UP, CONSTRUCTION TRUCKS!

Storytime gets a kick in the pants with this jaunty combo of shapes and vehicles.

In this look at basic geometry via high-resolution photographs of construction trucks, the youngest of readers are introduced to nine different shapes. Using a seek-and-find format, the book encourages them to locate each shape as it appears on a vehicle, clearly delineated with thick, colorful lines. A clear, red triangle decorates the bed of a dump truck; a blue oval surrounds the barrel of a concrete mixer. The rhyming text names the featured equipment, each shot with crystal clarity outdoors on a variety of beautiful days. From the jaunty little red forklift sporting a rectangle on its side to the rhombus of a road sign snapped at an angle, small fingers will have no difficulty tracing each of the featured shapes again and again. Similar in its cadences to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle (1967), this book is ideal for construction storytimes everywhere. “Road roller / Road roller / Coming through! / I spy a circle— / How about you?” Be sure to sing it to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” if you really want to bring down the house. Activities to further engage young children are included at the end of the book.

Clear, crisp, clean, and concise—trucks and shapes have never before looked (or sounded) this good. (Picture book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77278-134-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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A playful excursion for young mariners.

GO, BOATS, GO!

From the In Motion series

A cavalcade of boats both realistic and whimsical.

“Old boats. New boats. / One-or-two boats. // Tall boats. Small boats. / Heave-and-haul boats.” So begins Boswell’s playful, rhythmic, and compact text. Mostov’s illustrations, which are graphically simple and pleasingly two-dimensional in dark and bold colors, depict a wide range of floating apparatuses, mostly in profile. There are human-powered boats, such as kayaks, a dinghy, and pedal-powered boats, and nature- and machine-powered vehicles, such as a few types of sailboats, submarines, a motorboat, and an airboat. As the text goes on, they grow quite fanciful and include a sailboat carried aloft by balloons and sea-horse– and flamingo-shaped vessels. Seemingly in order to cram in as many as possible, some of the pages cut the boats off in unsatisfying ways, and boat-obsessed toddlers may be disappointed they don’t see a full image of a shipwreck or a container ship. Although there’s a clichéd white, bearded sea captain with a bird on the shoulder, a diverse group of folks pilot these crafts and include multiracial crews on several boats and a brown-skinned family clad in modern gear and paddling a traditional-looking canoe.

A playful excursion for young mariners. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63217-268-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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