Expect construction-loving kids to be dancing to this funkytown night fever hustle.

READ REVIEW

DUMP TRUCK DISCO

Disco is dead? Try telling that to these late-night Samaritans.

Who knew? In the dark of night, abandoned urban lots may be converted into playgrounds by an upbeat troop of do-gooding trucks. Led by Dump Truck Daisy, each vehicle has a job to do, whether it’s clearing, mixing, or building. When the humans wake up in the morning, they discover their new neighborhood amenity, and the trucks move on to further missions. Backmatter includes information on each truck as well as a directive to come up with a different dance for each as they listen to the accompanying CD (with vocals by Audra Mariel). Putting aside the fact that for many young readers “disco” is as archaic a subject as ancient Rome, the story is bound to appeal. Even without musical accompaniment, the text scans perfectly on its own. A tip of the hat to Silver is due for the abundance of trucks with typically female monikers as well as such ethnic names as Esteban, Kazuo, and Beatriz. Likewise, the widely diverse array of people milling about the pages is a delight to behold. Eye-popping acrylics mixed with watercolors and digital collage render each page a colorful cacophony that defies the dark of night. The appearance of a wrecking disco ball is just the icing on the cake.

Expect construction-loving kids to be dancing to this funkytown night fever hustle. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78285-407-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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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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Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime.

ELBOW GREASE VS. MOTOZILLA

Who needs sanity when you’ve got family?

The title character of Elbow Grease (2018) and his family of Demolition Derby trucks return to face an all-new competitor. Once again, ’Bo is feeling inadequate next to his fan-favorite brothers. Despite Mel the Mechanic’s encouragement—he’s “the best at getting better”—he wants to be noticed. But instead, he notices someone unavoidable. Motozilla, the monster machine that turns trucks “into crunch sandwiches,” is currently undefeated. Trouble is, you’d need a truck with an array of skills to take him down. Thinking fast, ’Bo makes the wild and somewhat improbable suggestion that he and his brothers join together to form a single supertruck. Will it be enough to take down this bully? Quips, jests, and teamwork are the name of the game as pro wrestler Cena improves on his writing in this second outing, which demonstrates that individual glory falls in the face of concentrated cooperation. Rollicking, radical art portrays the battle in all its gritty glory, mud and twisted metal galore. Human crowds show a diverse range of races and genders, and the trucks’ keeper, Mel, has light-brown skin and wears glasses.

Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7353-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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