Will very likely make young readers yearn for a big foodie event like the one depicted.

FOOD TRUCK FEST!

Vivid details highlight the workers and dining fans who make up a local food-truck festival scene.

For it all to happen, the food-truck owners must gather, prepare, cook, and transport it all, which turns out to be a lot more work than kids might expect. That work is presented in clear explanations that demystify what’s behind those serving windows. “They’re kitchens on wheels, without the frills,” it’s explained, and similarly, the book’s text is stripped down into simple rhyming couplets. The story of how the trucks get to the fest is shown in parallel to a family’s preparations to attend. Though it seems meant to build anticipation and give the child’s view on things, the family members aren’t named and do little more than rush. But that doesn’t matter because the illustrations and knowledgeable text keep the attention focused on the variety of the trucks and the work done by the people who run them. By the time readers get to the fest, with trucks with names such as “Pho Sho” and “Slow Your Roll” (eggrolls, of course), it’s obvious that food blogger Penfold’s knowledge is coming through. The illustrations pack in a big, wide range of people, from customers to chefs to musicians, convincingly creating a vibrant community brought together by the variety of things they love to eat. (The focal family is pale-skinned.)

Will very likely make young readers yearn for a big foodie event like the one depicted. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30318-1

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A cozy story that will transport readers to faraway places.

A GIFT FOR NANA

All gifts are perfect when they come from the heart.

Rabbit goes on a “journey through a green and grand forest” in order to get a gift for his nana even though it is “not even a major hare holiday.” He travels very far in search of the perfect gift and encounters many new friends whom he asks for help. Each of them proffers Rabbit something they can easily make or acquire: The moon offers a “crescent smile,” a whale proposes a glass of water, and so on. Ultimately, Rabbit finds the perfect gift for Nana all on his own, and his nana absolutely adores it. Although the story is a bit predictable, it is amusing—readers will laugh at the anthropomorphic volcano’s explosion and Rabbit’s exhaustion from his journey, among other chucklesome scenes. Smith’s gesso, oil, and cold wax illustrations are exquisite and almost ethereal. The friendly, many-eyed creature referred to as a “stickler” is at once haunting and intriguing. The moon is Tim Burton–esque and seems to glow and pop off the page. Pleased with his choice of gift, Rabbit has the moon’s smile on his face. The predominance of full-bleed double-page spreads accentuates Rabbit’s long quest. The different font sizes, styles, and colors will aid emerging readers with diction when reading aloud but might prove difficult for those with dyslexia. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A cozy story that will transport readers to faraway places. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43033-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more