This is one road kids will be happy to travel again.

ROAD CREW, COMING THROUGH!

From the Construction Site series

There’s no crew like a familiar crew! Rinker’s perpetually cheery vehicles are back to build a road.

From construction crew to road crew, the intrepid heroes that first made their appearance in Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2011), have returned yet again, with Ford illustrating, as he has since 2018. In this new iteration, the team has settled in a land of mesas, cacti, and scrub. Joined by new vehicles Compacter, Scraper, Grader, Roller, Striper, Water Truck, and Paver, they are given plans to construct a route “from here…to there,” and there’s not a moment to lose. After all, this isn’t just any road. It’s a “SUPERHIGHWAY, MEGA ROAD!” The rhyming text follows each piece of equipment as they do their part in paving the dusty landscape. In the course of a day (or so it would appear) the road is finished. That cars and trucks are able to use it immediately strains at the tensile strength of adult credulity, but construction-loving tots won’t care a jot. And conflict-averse youngsters needn’t worry, as not a thing goes wrong. To offset some of the natural concerns regarding the construction of superhighways, the book takes care to include wildlife crossings within the illustrations and adds an explanation at the end about their necessity. Vehicles are identified with both male and female pronouns throughout. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This is one road kids will be happy to travel again. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-79720-472-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Extremely simple and rather sweet.

BULLDOZER'S CHRISTMAS DIG

From the Bulldozer series

Bulldozer is worried about what to give his friends for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Dump Truck is carrying, Digger Truck is stringing, and Crane Truck is lifting—all in service of decorating for Christmas. But Bulldozer is on the side, surrounded by cats, worrying. He has not a single gift for his friends. What can he do? He sees a tire half buried in the snow and wonders what other treasures might be there. He starts to dig, and he hits something…but it turns out to be junk. He keeps on digging and finds something else: “more junk.” He keeps digging and digging. The piles grow larger, the sky gets darker, and Bulldozer’s hope fades. But then he thinks he sees something through the snow. He pokes the pile of junk this way and that. He adds bits and pieces. As his friends call out to him that it’s quitting time, Bulldozer puts last touches on his gift. He moves aside to reveal his creation to his friends, and all are pleased with the gift. The little yellow Bulldozer with his entourage of animal friends is a likable character whose plight children will relate to and whose noncommercial solution is a model for creative youngsters to take as inspiration. Best for wrapping a message of giving within a truck-loving package full of sound effects. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Extremely simple and rather sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3820-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A brassy, assertive fellow—young readers in the middle of their own power struggles will relate.

TOUGH TUG

A tugboat’s size and might are easy to anthropomorphize; add this personified puffer to the mix.

Tough Tug is built near Seattle, made of strong steel welded together and adorned with a fresh coat of bright red paint. Wide googly eyes and a determined smile complete the look. On launch day, Tough Tug triumphantly flashes forward and backward, twirling and swirling through the water. Older tugboats (distinguished variously by mustaches, glasses, and eye patches) grumble at the youngster’s bravado. “Push and pull is what tugs do. Practice THAT.” Tough Tug’s first job is to tow a barge to Alaska. Rhythmic mantras churn across the surface of the water in bold navy letters: “Ready, steady. / Steady, ready. // Chug and tug. / Tug and chug.” But Tough Tug is overeager and challenges Arctic Tug to a race. The thrum changes to “Race and run! / Run and race!” Arctic Tug is first to Sitka, but while crossing the open ocean to Anchorage, the older tug gets into trouble. It’s Tough Tug to the rescue! McClurkan’s digital paintings look quite modern, but there is a feel to his foamy waves that recalls the mid-20th-century harbor of Little Toot. The anthropomorphized boats have plenty of personality, and readers who study the expressions on the container ships will be rewarded. An author’s note explains this was inspired by a true story of one tug rescuing another boat from a competing tugboat company.

A brassy, assertive fellow—young readers in the middle of their own power struggles will relate. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5039-5098-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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