BOAT WORKS

From the Giant Fold-Out Book series

No need for a life jacket; all these vessels glide smoothly into port.

When you sail away on these seas, the vessel can be any you choose.

A question-and-answer text combines with the fold-out design to introduce children to maritime terminology. Clean, primary colors catch the eye, and the text is printed entirely in capital letters. The direct, first-person narrative allows the boats to brag about their particular attributes. “What am I? / I have a heavy anchor. / I have portholes. / I'm an ocean liner.” The vocabulary is appropriately accurate (though land-bound toddlers will be unlikely to correctly name the vessels from the clues); “buoy,” “mast” and “oar” are all represented. The fold-out design works well with the construction of the text, each one-panel clue unfolding first up and then over into an impressive spread, though the dramatic pictures will bend quickly (and likely rip) after repeat readings. Lines and silhouettes are clean and high-contrast, lending the book a Modernist energy.

No need for a life jacket; all these vessels glide smoothly into port. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 29, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60905-215-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

GO, GO, PIRATE BOAT

A perfect piece of treasure it is not, but shiver me timbers, it’s fun.

Two pirates and their parrot companion embark on adventures to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

Following Car, Car, Truck, Jeep (2018), Charman and Sharratt team up again for this swashbuckling, musical tale. The two buccaneers and their parrot spend a day at sea engaged in such maritime activities as scrubbing the deck and hoisting the sail along with quintessentially piratical chores like digging up buried treasure. At the end of the day—which culminates in a nonviolent walk across the plank—the two pirates return home. Charman’s rhyming text has a nice cadence, and thanks to the cover note to sing along to the tune of “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat,” it moves along at a nice clip. For the most part, the rhymes work neatly into the tune so that it reads easily the first time through. Sharratt’s black-outlined illustrations are boldly colored and eye-catching. The pirates themselves are not obviously gendered; one presents white and the other has light-brown skin. Most of the ocean creatures have anthropomorphized features—a mostly successful choice with the exception of the jellyfish and octopus, shown awkwardly with humanlike noses and smiles (and, oddly, eyebrows for the octopus). Overall, this one holds high appeal for little readers, and the nature of the singsong-y, rhyming text will make it a highly requested reread.

A perfect piece of treasure it is not, but shiver me timbers, it’s fun. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0319-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

THE WHEELS ON THE FIRE TRUCK

Short, sweet, and engaging; a sing-along introduction to furry first responders.

“The Wheels on the Bus” gets an extra syllable, a siren, a hose, and a snazzy new ladder.

This variation on the popular children’s song should hit the spot with budding truck aficionados among the diapered set. The text is a straight adaptation of “The Wheels on the Bus,” with firetruck and firefighting themes replacing the sights and sounds of a bus rider’s commute. The siren goes “Woo-woo-woo,” the lights go “Flash, flash, flash,” the riders “hold on tight,” the ladder goes “up, up, up,” and the hose, of course, goes “swish-swish-swish—now, the fire’s out.” The book won’t win awards for originality, but it should be a toddler pleaser. The colors on the cover are an explosion of reflective red foil against a bright yellow background; the interior colors are more muted but still bright and cheery. The firefighters and onlookers are anthropomorphic animals in firefighter costume or civvies, as the case may be. Characters include a racoon, some bunnies, a fox, and a woodchuck, among others, all rendered in an accessible, cartoony style. Between the bright colors and the smiling gameness of the furry firefighters, the proceedings should excite and delight most tots. 

Short, sweet, and engaging; a sing-along introduction to furry first responders. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4244-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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