More substantive than some beach-themed books, this one is engaging enough and notable due to the spotlight on brown...

SANDY FEET! WHOSE FEET?

FOOTPRINTS AT THE SHORE

A family spends a day at the beach observing various creatures’ prints in the sand.

Children and families of various skin tones and hair textures play on the beach as the main characters, a mother and father, a boy and a girl, all with brown skin, arrive, the children running toward the water. In spare, mostly rhyming verses, the text introduces “sandy feet” and “digging feet” and “wading feet” alongside small creatures as the children encounter them on the beach. A wet dog, a sandpiper, a scuttling crab, a sea gull. Each full-bleed illustration features motion—spraying water and creatures in action, with hints on each spread of the creature to be featured on the next. As the sun goes down, the family packs up and walks away from the water, tired out. The final spread shows a collection of prints featured throughout the book. Endnotes encourage readers to be “ecology detectives” and observe prints in nature, then provide information about the animals in the book. The calming beach colors create nostalgia for beach lovers, and the changing perspective of each spread adds interest for the duration of the book.

More substantive than some beach-themed books, this one is engaging enough and notable due to the spotlight on brown children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58536-409-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 28

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

more