There's more than just “choo-choo” along this track.

Eight different trains capture attention with their dramatic sounds. The engines (from the freight to the diesel) exude an exuberant variety of “bings,” “wo woos” and “zoooshes” as their speed intensifies. Onomatopoeia distinguishes one example from the next; the old steam train “toots” along while the big steam train “chuggas” with a vengeance. For all the apparently straightforward approach, Light indulges in some sly whimsy, too. Echoing the Billy Goats Gruff and repeating for emphasis, the “mountain train goes, / TRIP TRAP FUFF PUFF / TRIP TRAP FUFF PUFF / TRIP TRAP FUFF PUFF/ TRIP TRAP FUFF PUFF!” The elongated pages allow each train to stretch out magisterially. People take a back seat to the machines; the occasional conductor remains a distant and darkened figure. Variations in font accent each pointed syllable. Frantic lines push the cars to a formidable speed, and loose watercolor splashes explode with visual intensity. Sheer, fabulous power. (Board book. 1-3)  


Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7942-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This arbitrary collection of things that go really goes nowhere.



Twenty-four vehicles are each depicted on a single page with one sentence that describes what that vehicle does.

Unfortunately, very few of the vehicles in this board book actually go “vroom.” Instead, a “helicopter zooms through the sky,” and a “ferryboat carries people across a river.” While the level of detail presented is about right for very young children, the creators missed an opportunity to also describe the characteristic sound of each vehicle. Such descriptions would have made this book of motorized conveyances a satisfyingly noisy and interactive reading experience. Mack's greeting-card–cute illustrations are generic to the point of blandness. All the vehicles are driven by racially diverse figures with toylike, identical smiles. The only illustration that shows movement or speed is a view from above of race cars on a track. All the other images are shown from the side, reduced to their essential shapes. Sometimes the scenes shown on facing pages share a skyline, but the roads these vehicles travel on are not connected. On the page with a police car that “whizzes by on a high speed chase,” the car being chased is not even on the same road. The final two-page spread reviews all the vehicles shown earlier.

This arbitrary collection of things that go really goes nowhere. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4114-7589-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



From the Everything Goes series

A collection of trucks call it a night.

A milk truck, a tractor trailer, a dump truck, a garbage truck, a tanker truck, a tow truck, a monster truck, a flatbed truck and more all go about their end-of-day routines as the sky goes from twilight to evening. With only one or two trucks per double-page spread, long shadows and images of workers winding down from a long day, the scenes are quiet. A fire truck backs into the station, and the driver of an ice cream truck hangs a closed sign on the outside of her vehicle. The text is minimal, consisting mainly of captions labeling the vehicles, so it is Biggs’ quirky cartoons of chunky vehicles and droll people in muted hues that tell the story. The second-to-last double-page spread shows a pajama-clad man yawning and closing the door to his motor home, and the final scene depicts four dark vehicles in a moonlit RV park as the text reads, “Shhh...good night!” It’s refreshing to see the nonanthropomorphic vehicles only suggesting bedtime rather than being forced to perform getting-ready-for-bed rituals.


Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-195815-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet