Watching a bunch of trucks at work. Life doesn’t get much better. And these guys talk to you.

GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE

From the Construction Site series

A jaunty tour through an urban construction site extends the best-selling picture book's audience to young app users.

The scene is a building site. The characters are Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer, Excavator and Dump Truck (all proper names, by the way). They toil all day, and via the touch screen, each element on the screen is identified: the vehicles, the construction site, the building under construction. The identifying words range from simple—puddle, rock—to the more challenging: spigot, hook block, heap, concrete. After the day’s work is done, the vehicles take a well-earned rest, set to couplets: “Turn off your engines, stop your tracks, / Relax your wheels, your stacks, and backs.” The Crane Truck holds a teddy in its bumper, the Cement Truck has a security blanket, and the rest of the vehicles are tucked into the dirt. It’s a pretty cozy scene, drawn with what feels like the side edge of a colored-pencil’s lead and animated with admirable restraint. With its surprising but manageable complexity, identifiable characters and pleasingly chaotic construction site, this is one of those deceiving apps that will exceed expectations, delivering the entertainment goods each time. Adding to the merriment is the plinking piano and xylophonelike soundtrack.

Watching a bunch of trucks at work. Life doesn’t get much better. And these guys talk to you. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Oceanhouse Media

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along.

THE CRAYONS TRICK OR TREAT

The Crayons return in time for Halloween as vampire-costumed Purple coaches the dressed-up wax pack through its first trick-or-treating venture.

It takes five houses’ worth of door-knocks for this skeleton crew of seven to perfect the protocol, with enough outlandish flubs to generate giggles in Halloween-savvy preschoolers. At Door No. 1, Orange, dressed as a jack-o’-lantern, says, “Give us your candy, Lady.” At the next, the gang, encouraged by Purple to “think holiday,” responds with an impressive array of misguided greetings, including “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy American Cheese Month!” Later, White, levitating impressively in a ghost costume, overreacts to Halloween’s “scary” aspect by overwhelming residents with a “BOO!” Peach, unnamed here but recognizably wrapperless from the initial title, exuberantly (and inappropriately) repeats, “I’m naked!” Finally, the troupe perfects its treat-inducing line, though a certain ghost cannot resist an ad lib. This excursion, like many of the holiday-themed Crayon books, has a smaller trim size, a lower price point, and far less complexity than Daywalt and Jeffers’ first two Crayon titles. Still, the pair deftly let young children in on the jokes through funny, hand-lettered dialogue and the visually telegraphed, all-in haplessness of this well-branded band. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A laugh-inducing Halloween read-along. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-62102-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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