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 Books

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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

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Another solid, engaging piece from Maisy and Co.


From the Go with Maisy series

Mouse Maisy drives a green bus to the beach.

The Go with Maisy series continues with this board book and the concurrently published Maisy’s Sailboat. Both books involve Maisy driving a vehicle and picking up friends along the way. The rounded, die-cut book is unusual and pleasant for little readers to hold, making this an excellent read for car or bus rides (though possibly not when out on a sail). As Maisy drives her bus through her town she picks up Tallulah, Dotty, and other friends described by bold, black, childlike text. The stylized illustrations with a primary color palette fill the double-page–spread illustrations with cute, black-outlined images that will engage young readers, especially fans of the white mouse and her pals. The text offers some vocabulary that’s potentially new to readers. Dotty is “the first passenger”; in the final scene, the text crows that “they’ve arrived!” While neither book is an essential addition to the toddler library, both are agreeable-enough reads.

Another solid, engaging piece from Maisy and Co. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9406-7

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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