Make some noise at storytime with this book.

SO MANY SOUNDS

A look at sounds throughout the day.

The book opens with the child who is depicted on the cover, a child of color with brown skin and black hair, asleep in bed while a white-appearing man knocks on the bedroom door and a yellow bird sings outside. Accompanying, rhyming text reads, “LISTEN! DO YOU HEAR A SOUND? / NOISES COME FROM ALL AROUND.” Subsequent pages show the child getting up and starting the day while sounds of the man, who seems to be his father, cooking breakfast, washing dishes, etc. surround him. Then the child walks to school with a woman of color who appears to be mom, and they encounter new noises outside. The school day, which includes a field trip to a concert, is filled with sounds too, and the students are a diverse group with differing skin and hair colors. Throughout, Miller’s cartoon art concentrates on making sound visible. The vibrant, multicolored palette alone looks loud, and musical notes on the page, along with colors and lines emanating from instruments, pounding hammers, and so on, graphically represent various sounds described by the text. Pages are visually noisy, compositions crowded and exuberant. The child returns home at book’s end to settle down as the closing text reads, “NO MORE NOISES. NOT A PEEP. EVERYONE IS SOUND ASLEEP” (here, perhaps, readers will wish the otherwise appropriately all-caps text were not shouting quite so loud).

Make some noise at storytime with this book. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3156-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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