Nothing really new here, but Rocket fans—at least those who don’t consider themselves too old for board books—may enjoy...

READ REVIEW

ROCKET'S MIGHTY WORDS

From the Rocket series

Hills’ adorable black-and-white spotted dog named Rocket (How Rocket Learned to Read, 2010; Rocket Writes a Story, 2012) returns in this oversized vocabulary primer.

There’s no narrative to speak of here; this is a simple introduction to words for new readers. Children are first introduced to terms such as “dog,” “tail,” ear” and “spot” as they are printed on and around an iconic image of Rocket, running blissfully along with head thrown back, eyes closed and stick clutched firmly in his jaws. A spread featuring vignettes of Rocket in action presents verbs such as “wag,” “dig,” “sniff” and “nap.” Two spreads are painted to resemble giant chalkboards covered with nouns and simple drawings representing each one, while the final pages feature Rocket’s little yellow bird friend and a set of sight words on notecards scattered across a meadow. Many of the charming images will be familiar to readers, as they have appeared before, in part or whole, in other Rocket adventures.

Nothing really new here, but Rocket fans—at least those who don’t consider themselves too old for board books—may enjoy using this as a tool for practicing word recognition with the sweet puppy they’ve come to love. (Board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-385-37233-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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