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Enhancing the Amazing Machines series aimed at preschoolers, Mitton deals with the vehicles that kids and adults use every day. He offers, however, the unique perspective of the role cars play in our lives: “Cars are really handy / for getting us around.” But there’s so much more. In lilting rhymes, this informal guide glances at the way drivers use signs and signals to navigate streets. It also looks at how a car is driven from the pedals on up, how to keep a car running with gas and care and even how to keep it spiffy with a wash. Mitton touches on different types of cars from off-road vehicles to racing cars. There’s frustration, too, with driving: “Sometimes there’s a traffic jam. / The vehicles all get stuck.” The illustrations, painted in zesty watercolors, have a cartoon appeal featuring round-eyed animals, such as gophers, mice and cats. Topping it all off with a simple diagram of car parts, this is an enjoyable learning tool that will surely ignite curiosity. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 16, 2005

ISBN: 0-7534-5802-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2005

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Readers will be charmed as Harold draws himself in and out of trouble and finally home to bed in this subtle blend of...

Harold takes a walk in the moonlight down the path of imagination and although this time the bunnies hop and the winds blow, nothing of the dreamy simplicity of the journey is lost.

Elegantly adapted by Trilogy Studios to the iPad and featuring the same minimalist lines of Johnson's 1955 original, this app allows children to join in as Harold wields his purple crayon to create his gently perilous adventure. Along the way, the many hidden interactions allow readers to animate the scenes, shaking apples from the tree and making the guard dragon catch them in his mouth. Kids can fill the moonlit sky with stars and zoom in on hatchling birds in the mountains; they can cause a swirling wind to fill the sails of Harold's boat and help him sample all nine flavors of pie. All the while, it maintains the flavor of a simple line-drawn story. When touched, most objects and characters are identified both verbally and in text to add an extra level of learning for early readers. Options include Read to Me, in which each word appears as it is spoken by the narrator; Touch Tale, a fully interactive version prefaced with a clear tutorial; and Read to Myself. All modes are accompanied by tinkly music.

Readers will be charmed as Harold draws himself in and out of trouble and finally home to bed in this subtle blend of animation and story. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 30, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Trill Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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