Don’t duck this picture book.

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TRUCK, TRUCK, GOOSE!

A story with limited text, nearly unlimited trucks, a picnicking goose, and a bevy of adorable animals.

Sauer embeds bespectacled Goose’s picnic to-do list into the copyright-page illustration: “Choose picnic spot. / Pack a big lunch. / Take everything I need.” Otherwise, the text is mostly limited to repetitions of the word “Truck” with the occasional “Goose!” in emulation of the familiar children’s game. The picnic spot Goose chooses is on a grassy area at the center of a nearby traffic circle, and Goose comically takes three cartloads of supplies from home, including a big red piano. Various kinds of trucks driven by other anthropomorphic animals drive around the circle while Goose plods along with his loads, but the “Truck… / Truck… /  Truck…” traffic halts when the red piano falls into the road. Goose seems unbothered and sets up a picnic, donning headphones and sunglasses to relax. The animal drivers, however, are frustrated by the ensuing traffic jam until a new truck affixed with a crane comes and moves it. Exultant, the animals’ joy is only heightened by the arrival of a new truck on the scene—this time an ice cream truck driven by not another Goose but “MOOSE!” Waring’s bright, digital cartoon illustrations include pleasingly rounded, expressive characters that add great humor to the text, while the illustrated trucks, unnamed by the limited text, invite identification by listeners.

Don’t duck this picture book. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-242153-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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