A book that will encourage even the youngest of fans to keep on truckin’.


Comfort and care take a momentary hiatus as premier bibliotherapist Parr tackles a whole new world of vehicular options.

Parr opts for standard preschool fare with his pretty paean to cool trucks and cars (but mostly trucks) everywhere. His signature style, combining bright, peppy colors and thick black lines, is an apt fit for the goofy array of at least semisentient trucks on display. Readers are repeatedly informed what it is that cars and trucks “LOVE” (“to be on the road,” “to be clean,” “to help people,” and “to say good night”). Seemingly unwilling to abandon his sense of responsibility for the well-being of the world entirely, Parr includes a note at the end that encourages readers to use buses or bikes too as well as an oddly adult list of nine tips for safe driving. In addition to Parr’s customarily offbeat color scheme, there’s a bit of an edge to this outing, making it an oddly refreshing read. Whether it’s the distinctly pointy teeth on the monster and ski-patrol trucks, the pizza truck that advertises itself as “Home of the Stinky Pot Pie” (its proprietor is a skunk), or the free-flying tighty whities and other undies on the top of a laundry truck, there’s much here to amuse both younger and older vehicle fans.

A book that will encourage even the youngest of fans to keep on truckin’. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-50662-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Smoother rides are out there.


From the Beginner Books series

Mommy and Bonnie—two anthropomorphic rodents—go for a joyride and notice a variety of conveyances around their busy town.

The pair encounter 22 types of vocational vehicles as they pass various sites, including a fire engine leaving a firehouse, a school bus approaching a school, and a tractor trailer delivering goods to a supermarket. Narrated in rhyming quatrains, the book describes the jobs that each wheeled machine does. The text uses simple vocabulary and sentences, with sight words aplenty. Some of the rhymes don't scan as well as others, and the description of the mail truck’s role ("A mail truck brings / letters and cards / to mailboxes / in people's yards) ignores millions of readers living in yardless dwellings. The colorful digitally illustrated spreads are crowded with animal characters of every type hustling and bustling about. Although the art is busy, observant viewers may find humor in details such as a fragile item falling out of a moving truck, a line of ducks holding up traffic, and a squirrel’s spilled ice cream. For younger children enthralled by vehicles, Sally Sutton’s Roadwork (2011) and Elizabeth Verdick’s Small Walt series provide superior text and art and kinder humor. Children who have little interest in cars, trucks, and construction equipment may find this offering a yawner. Despite being advertised as a beginner book, neither text nor art recommend this as an engaging choice for children starting to read independently. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Smoother rides are out there. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-37725-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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The big machines may initially draw readers, but kids will leave with a solid foundation about the immensity of large-scale...


Follow along as machines construct a skyscraper, from the ground all the way up, up, up!

In her punchy trademark one-verb-per-page style, Hurley starts off with a demolition followed by the numerous steps of building an enormous new skyscraper. Watch the excavator “dig” the foundation, the flatbed truck “haul” the beams for a crane to “raise,” and more, all the way through to the finishing touches of windows and paving. Near the last page, a change from landscape to portrait orientation finally treats readers to a complete view of the towering finished product. Occasionally, scale is difficult to ascertain in the illustrations, making it hard to perceive the building’s upward progression, though changing seasons nicely underscore that completing a project this large is a lengthy process. On each page, a new construction vehicle lumbers in, ranging from the familiar (bulldozer) to the lesser known (pile driver). The closing glossary identifying the equipment and its function will help readers connect the verbs to the machines’ tasks. The flat, digitally rendered construction vehicles, depicted in comparatively bright primary colors, stand out distinctively against the matte, mostly gray background, though the imposing vehicles feel more static than dynamic.

The big machines may initially draw readers, but kids will leave with a solid foundation about the immensity of large-scale construction. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7001-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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