Perfect for the very young truck fanatic.


All kinds of bruising vehicles have a part in creating a new housing development in this muscular import from the U.K.

First comes the big red wrecker, its ball swinging to bash the old buildings to the ground. Then the planners come, to measure and mark, followed by the bulldozers, who “shave and shift and shove all day.” The type goes across the page in various directions and routes, sometimes bold and even bolder, from tiny to enormous. Diggers and tippers (dump trucks) are next, to finish the job of preparing the ground, then cement mixers, to lay the concrete foundation. Then sturdy trucks show up with cement blocks and other building materials. Busy builders go to work with hard hats and hammers and hods, and the buildings start to rise. Some materials need a crane. Steamrollers help smooth out all the bumpy bits. Before long, the trucks coming to the site are moving vans, full of furniture and the other belongings of all the families that will be moving into these immaculate new homes. Steggall’s use of color makes stars of her machines; the buildings and ground, with scant greenery, are in earth tones, while gleaming bright vehicles—in orange and bold yellow and blue—really pop in her textured collages. Her text has lots of phonic and onomatopoeic crunch as well.

Perfect for the very young truck fanatic.    (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-84780-288-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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Slight and contrived.


A little orange food truck parks in the same place every day, bringing tacos to hungry construction workers—till one morning, a falafel truck takes his spot.

Miss Falafel then brings by more of her friends, crowding out the taco truck. Little Taco Truck whines and cries, but after four days of being shut out by the bigger trucks, he finally takes the initiative. He spends the night in his former parking space, defending his territory when the other trucks arrive. The rest immediately apologize, and after some creative maneuvering, everyone fits—even the newly arrived noodle truck. Valentine’s naïve call for cooperation glosses over the very real problem of urban gentrification represented by the flood of bigger and better-equipped trucks taking over the neighborhood. When the taco truck is the only game in town, the food line consists of hard-hatted construction workers. Then, as falafel, arepa, gelato, hot dog, and gumbo trucks set up shop, professionals and hipsters start showing up. (All the customers are depicted as animals.) The author also inadvertently equates tacos with a lack of sophistication. “ ‘Hola, Miss Fal…Fal…’ Little Taco Truck tried to sound out the words on the side of the other truck.” Sadly, the truck sells Americanized crisp-shelled tacos. Even the glossary ignores the culinary versatility and cultural authenticity of the soft taco with this oversimplified and inaccurate definition: “A crispy Mexican corn pancake folded or rolled around a filling of meat, beans, and cheese.”

Slight and contrived. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6585-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Though it’s on the long side, Moore’s tale combines traditional themes and spritely illustrations to create a satisfying,...


This quirky tale has something for everyone: an adventurous sea captain, a mysterious island, mounds of treasure, a spunky princess, handsome sailors, charming cats (who are also ruthless hunters), and a clever, if not entirely intentional, comeuppance for a band of greedy merchants.

The lengthy text covers a fair amount of time and distance in a conversational tone that suits the story’s origin as an “old Italian tale” (according to the flyleaf; there is no other source note). Captain Cat’s business sense, according to his colleagues, is sadly lacking, as he cheerfully trades goods of great value for his feline friends. Moreover, his urge to explore eventually sends him off in the opposite direction from the traditional trade routes. Ironically, he winds up on an island where his cats are more precious than gold—and where they are more than happy to settle down. Captain Cat, on the other hand, continues to sail, first back to his home port, where his wealth dazzles the other merchants, and then on across the open seas. Moore’s mixed-media illustrations have the appearance of pen and ink and watercolor. A preponderance of mostly muted blues, greens, browns and tans create convincing watery vistas and rocky beaches as well as a plethora of cheerful-looking, big-eyed cats.

Though it’s on the long side, Moore’s tale combines traditional themes and spritely illustrations to create a satisfying, offbeat adventure. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6151-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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