A solid companion to Rinker and Lichtenheld’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (2011). (Picture book. 3-6)

READ REVIEW

STEAM TRAIN, DREAM TRAIN

“Through the darkness, clickety-clack...  / coming closer, down the track...”

The night train is arriving; it carries an unusual cargo and an even more surprising crew. Darkly lit pastel illustrations reveal monkeys, kangaroos, an elephant and various other animals, all of whom are ready to load freight appropriate to their eating habits, anatomy or abilities into a variety of different, named railroad cars. Rhymed text full of onomatopoeia describes the monkeys packing bananas, monkey bars, hula hoops and a sock monkey into the boxcar. Kangaroos toss balls into the hopper, and elephants squirt different-colored paints into tankers. Whimsical, dreamlike imagery continues as a polar bear loads a giant ice-cream sundae onto the freezer car, while the tortoises drive race cars onto an autorack. While it’s not a strikingly original selection, a feeling of warmth and an old-fashioned nursery aura both abound here. Train and animal enthusiasts alike will enjoy the gentle action and may just drift off as the train fills up and the animals go to sleep, safely tucked in on flatbed cars that hold…beds. “Steam train, dream train... / chhhhhh...goodnight.”

A solid companion to Rinker and Lichtenheld’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (2011). (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 16, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0920-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Caldecott Honor Book

  • Newbery Medal Winner

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more