All aboard for a great storytime pick.

READ REVIEW

FOLLOW THE TRACK ALL THE WAY BACK

Little Train follows Mommy and Daddy Train’s advice to return safely after his first solo journey.

There’s a vintage feeling to the digitally manipulated pastel illustrations that would make Little Train and his family seem right at home alongside Hardie Gramatky’s Little Toot and Watty Piper’s Little Engine That Could. The story, too, has a classic feel to it, as Little Train’s journey follows a home-away-home plotline. When he sets off from the train shed alone for the first time, Mommy and Daddy Train offer encouragement and the titular advice that he “follow the track all the way back” in order to return home after his journey. He’s a bit too excited to let their words sink in at first, and he’s soon caught up in enjoying a field he passes through, crossing a bridge, climbing a mountain, and rolling by a river. The palette darkens considerably when Little Train reaches the end of the track and stares out to sea. Rain begins to fall, and Little Train must think back to his parents’ advice. He quickly recalls their words, and then retraces his journey home (with a little help from a mouse who operates the railroad switch), proceeding backward through scenes now bathed in moon- and starlight. As promised, Mommy and Daddy Train are awaiting his return, and his success makes Little Train determined to seek out “even BIGGER adventures” the next day.

All aboard for a great storytime pick. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9573-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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