FARM THE FARM

Interactions make this simple day on the farm a fun one.

Spend the day on the farm, caring for the animals.

Calling all farmers! Put on your overalls and boots, because we are going to the farm. Readers are first introduced to a sad cow, who just wants to graze the pasture. “Swing” open the gate (flap), and the cow is happy to go. Next, readers meet hungry, unhappy hens. Lift the flap to “sprinkle some food” and see them eating away. Moving along, readers find a pony who needs some primping. Turn down the flap to “brush” its mane and ta-da! The pony’s eyes are visible. Next, readers see an egg that’s too cold. When readers flip the flap to turn on the heat lamp, surprise! A duckling hatches. Oh no! The goat is hungry—move the flap to “feed” it from a bottle. Time to grab the clippers and “swipe” them across the sheep’s fleece. Lift the flap to see the happy, shaved sheep. Next, readers meet the pig from the cover, dismayed by the dust. Turn the flap to “twist the faucet” and make a muddy wallow. Finally, it’s time to pick up the poop. “Grab a shovel” and some grossed-out laughs before flipping the flap to clean it up. Reul’s expressive, funny cartoons give her animals lots of personality, and the highlighted verbs are robust additions to toddlers’ vocabularies.

Interactions make this simple day on the farm a fun one. (Board book. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0940-8

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

As ephemeral as a valentine.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2021

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