So sweet it’ll have readers heading for their toothbrushes.

READ REVIEW

LOTS OF LOVE LITTLE ONE

FOREVER AND ALWAYS

Another entry in the how-much-I-love-you genre.

The opening spread shows a blue elephant-and-child pair, the child atop the adult, white hearts arcing between their uplifted trunks: “You’re a gift and a blessing in every way. / I love you more each and every day.” From there, the adult elephant goes on to tell the child how they are loved more than all sorts of things, some rhyming better than others: “I love you more than all the spaghetti served in Rome, // and more than each and every dog loves her bone.” More than stars, fireflies, “all the languages spoken in the world,” “all the dancers that have ever twirled,” all the kisses ever given and miles ever driven, “all the adventures you have ahead,” and “all the peanut butter and jelly spread on bread!” Representative of all the world’s languages are “I love you” in several languages (with no pronunciation help): English, Sioux, French, German, Swahili, Spanish, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Arabic (these two last in Roman characters only). Bold colors and simple illustrations with no distracting details keep readers’ focus on the main ideas. Dashed lines give the artwork (and at least one word on every spread) the look of 2-D sewn toys.

So sweet it’ll have readers heading for their toothbrushes. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8398-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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