Readers can’t help but smile and tap their toes through this one.

ABC DANCE!

AN ANIMAL ALPHABET

From the Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella (a Hello!Lucky Book) series

Animals dance their way through the ABCs.

This board book is not only a celebration of the alphabet, but also an exuberant adventure in rhyme and alliteration. Each letter is represented by a different animal with its own part in the dance. Sabrina Moyle’s text skillfully reads with its own playful cadence, carefully playing with word sounds without tying tongues. It’s this finesse that makes lines like “Quail quickly quickstep—they’re queens of the dance!” both fun to read aloud and appealing to little listening ears. The vocabulary is rich and unusual, with featured animals such as vicuña and xemes (a type of gull) and words like “pivot” and “winsomely.” Unlike so many alphabet books that announce each new page with a large, lonely letter, this one showcases the letter by subtly emphasizing its appearance in each word. The text fits in well with Eunice Moyle’s illustrations, appearing as an intentional part of the larger design instead of a typeface selected after the fact. The words “Rhinos ROCK OUT!” look almost as if they could be part of the set design for the energetically jamming rhinoceroses. Each page features bright backgrounds; animals are equally dazzling, with simply drawn yet emotive faces. Sure to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Readers can’t help but smile and tap their toes through this one. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0746-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

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THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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