Put pedal to the metal and read this as fast as wheels will allow.

NO HONKING ALLOWED

At last, an answer to that long-standing question: would you trust a T. rex in the driver’s seat?

Bespectacled, bescarved Rex is all too happy to show his staid and steady pal Stego all the noises his sporty roadster makes. His favorite? The honk. Alas, honking is explicitly forbidden according to copious signage and Stego’s unwavering commitment to the rules. Yet when a fire truck must make way, Rex at last lets loose with a torrent of emergency-excused honks. Lesson learned? Not even slightly. It’s fabulous to see a character with glasses depicted as the one with the impulse-control issues in a book. Rex’s charm and Stego’s worrywart concerns battle it out for dominion in the hearts of child readers. The aptly named Ferrari’s watercolors neatly capture both Rex’s joie de vivre and the madcap energy of the city. (Readers may wonder at the ease with which Stego’s plates are accommodated when he sits down, however.) The rhyming text’s scansion also works consistently, and the simple wordplay allows this to double as both a read-aloud and a text for emerging readers. A sudden right-hand turn into metafictive territory prevents the book from nailing the landing, but it’s hard to resist the sheer exuberant id of the hero and his superego stand-in best friend.

Put pedal to the metal and read this as fast as wheels will allow. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3672-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BE YOU!

An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more