A lighthearted look at the consequences of exclusion and self-absorption.

THE ONLY WAY IS BADGER

Badger bullies—well, badgers—other animals into accepting his delusions of superiority—but finally realizes the error of his ways.

After the expressive, comical animals on the cover have hinted at the premise, a double-page spread of hand(paw)-painted posters against a bleak, gray, cement-block wall reinforces it, with slogans such as “Be More Badger.” Cheerful, colorful, flower-studded grass and animals that somewhat resemble the characters in Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back accompany the ominous opening words: “Deep in the forest, something wasn’t right. Overnight, a wall had appeared. And someone had covered the trees with strange posters.” The mystified forest creatures are soon assured by boisterous, egotistical Badger that he is “telling it like it is” with his declaration that badgers are best. He insists that he is helping them by ensuring that they all exhibit badgerlike traits. Deer—previously interrupted by Badger when trying to voice an opinion—becomes the first animal banished over the wall, supposedly because he cannot dig. Badger incites jeering at Deer. With each new test, more animals leave, amid clever wordplay and humorous, absurd art. Finally, Badger is alone in a world that he has painted in his fur’s black-and-white. His final poster creates a happy ending unlikely to occur in the real world of politics. But who mentioned politics?

A lighthearted look at the consequences of exclusion and self-absorption. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68010-098-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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?

Extremely simple and rather sweet.

BULLDOZER'S CHRISTMAS DIG

From the Bulldozer series

Bulldozer is worried about what to give his friends for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Dump Truck is carrying, Digger Truck is stringing, and Crane Truck is lifting—all in service of decorating for Christmas. But Bulldozer is on the side, surrounded by cats, worrying. He has not a single gift for his friends. What can he do? He sees a tire half buried in the snow and wonders what other treasures might be there. He starts to dig, and he hits something…but it turns out to be junk. He keeps on digging and finds something else: “more junk.” He keeps digging and digging. The piles grow larger, the sky gets darker, and Bulldozer’s hope fades. But then he thinks he sees something through the snow. He pokes the pile of junk this way and that. He adds bits and pieces. As his friends call out to him that it’s quitting time, Bulldozer puts last touches on his gift. He moves aside to reveal his creation to his friends, and all are pleased with the gift. The little yellow Bulldozer with his entourage of animal friends is a likable character whose plight children will relate to and whose noncommercial solution is a model for creative youngsters to take as inspiration. Best for wrapping a message of giving within a truck-loving package full of sound effects. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Extremely simple and rather sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3820-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more