WHEELS AROUND

Paint-box bright photographs of wheeled transportation cover the gamut from skateboards and wheelchairs to fire trucks and backhoes. There is a fine mixture of urban and rural vehicles, and the link between skateboards and dump trucks is one that will be new to many in the book's intended audience. Through judicious use of cropping and long shots, Rotner (Faces, 1994, etc.) varies what could have been a monotonous group of side views, and she uses the advertising on vehicles to adroit effect (she even manages to include a dinosaur). The pages are crammed full; an excellent use of borders and type boxes keep the ideas coherent and the book fun to pore over. A sparkling contribution to a popular subject. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-395-71815-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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WHAT DO WHEELS DO ALL DAY?

Captioned by Prince’s very brief, loosely rhymed commentary (“Wheels whiz, wheels whir. / Wheels carry travelers.”), Laroche’s expert paint-and-cut-paper collages, on a variety of page layouts, depict all sorts of people using wheels of all sizes at work and play. For “Wheels help to make us go,” they are attached to wagon, wheelchair, stroller, car and bike. They can be spinning on playgrounds (“wheels spin”) and windmills; propelling a helicopter (“Wheels twirl”), inline skates (“Wheels roll”) swinging beneath a tree branch, spinning within machinery or, in the most spectacular of the scenes, “Wheels soar into the sky” as a Ferris wheel carries bright-colored cars upside down and over. Wheel this in after or instead of Shelley Rotner’s photographically illustrated Wheels Around (1995), and leave preschool audiences’ heads a-spin. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 22, 2006

ISBN: 0-618-56307-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2006

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A brassy, assertive fellow—young readers in the middle of their own power struggles will relate.

TOUGH TUG

A tugboat’s size and might are easy to anthropomorphize; add this personified puffer to the mix.

Tough Tug is built near Seattle, made of strong steel welded together and adorned with a fresh coat of bright red paint. Wide googly eyes and a determined smile complete the look. On launch day, Tough Tug triumphantly flashes forward and backward, twirling and swirling through the water. Older tugboats (distinguished variously by mustaches, glasses, and eye patches) grumble at the youngster’s bravado. “Push and pull is what tugs do. Practice THAT.” Tough Tug’s first job is to tow a barge to Alaska. Rhythmic mantras churn across the surface of the water in bold navy letters: “Ready, steady. / Steady, ready. // Chug and tug. / Tug and chug.” But Tough Tug is overeager and challenges Arctic Tug to a race. The thrum changes to “Race and run! / Run and race!” Arctic Tug is first to Sitka, but while crossing the open ocean to Anchorage, the older tug gets into trouble. It’s Tough Tug to the rescue! McClurkan’s digital paintings look quite modern, but there is a feel to his foamy waves that recalls the mid-20th-century harbor of Little Toot. The anthropomorphized boats have plenty of personality, and readers who study the expressions on the container ships will be rewarded. An author’s note explains this was inspired by a true story of one tug rescuing another boat from a competing tugboat company.

A brassy, assertive fellow—young readers in the middle of their own power struggles will relate. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5039-5098-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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