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JUNGLE NIGHT

From the Boynton on Board series

Another sweet Boynton bedtime read-aloud for the family bookshelf.

In the quiet jungle night, a snoring elephant disturbs the snoozing animals’ peace.

This takes its place in Boynton’s great bedtime–board-book oeuvre, next to The Going To Bed Book (1982) and so many others. “It is nighttime in the jungle. / The moon will surely rise. / All the animals are sleeping, / with whisperings and sighs,” the story begins. Each turn of the page shows a different dozing animal with its own unique sound. The tiger goes, “ZEEE-ZOOO-HAAA,” and the frogs go, “BROPP-BRUPPIT!” Set within Boynton’s assured verse, these sounds make for a particularly delicious read-aloud. “But sometime after midnight, / the elephant goes… // SNORE! // And whoever had been sleeping / isn’t sleeping anymore.” Boynton’s illustrations include her classic silly touches, like a mouse being blown away by the elephant’s snore, and anyone who has ever lain awake at night will recognize the wide, unblinking eyes on the animals at the end. The book also includes a link to download or stream a free copy of famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of Erik Satie’s “Jungle Gymnopédie No. 1.” Perhaps even more delightful than the bouncy lullaby is Keith Boynton’s rich narration and Ma’s “animal snores” on cello, also freely available at the same link.

Another sweet Boynton bedtime read-aloud for the family bookshelf. (free audio download) (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5235-1360-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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THE ONE AND ONLY FAMILY

From the One and Only series , Vol. 4

Not the most satisfying wrap-up, but it’s always good to spend time in the world of this series.

Beloved gorilla Ivan becomes a father to rambunctious twins in this finale to a quartet that began with 2012’s Newbery Award–winning The One and Only Ivan.

Life hasn’t always been easy for silverback gorilla Ivan, who’s spent most of his life being mistreated in captivity. Now he’s living in a wildlife sanctuary, but he still gets to see his two best friends. Young elephant Ruby lives in the grassy habitat next door, and former stray dog Bob has a home with one of the zookeepers. All three were rescued from the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Ivan’s expanded world includes fellow gorilla Kinyani—the two are about to become parents, and Ivan is revisiting the traumas of his past in light of what he wants the twins to know. When the subject inevitably comes up, Applegate’s trust and respect for readers is evident. She doesn’t shy away from hard truths as Ivan wrestles with the fact that poachers killed his family. Readers will need the context provided by knowledge of the earlier books to feel the full emotional impact of this story. The rushed ending unfortunately falls flat, detracting from the central message that a complex life can still contain hope. Final art not seen.

Not the most satisfying wrap-up, but it’s always good to spend time in the world of this series. (gorilla games, glossary, author’s note) (Verse fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9780063221123

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

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

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. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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