This book needs a rescue of its own.

TO THE RESCUE!

A board-book survey of rescue vehicles.

Unfortunately, an unrealistic amount of prior knowledge is expected of board-book readers, who may not know enough about rescue operations to separate fact from whimsy. Predictably, a firetruck, police car, and tow truck are included. Young children may also already have seen an ambulance and snowplow, but very few young children will understand that a smiling cat wearing skis and holding a ladder attached to a helicopter is being rescued rather than having the time of its life. Riggs has chosen her words well. Each vehicle's job is summed up in one line of handwritten text followed by an action word (“push” for the snowplow; “pull” for the tow truck). The busy illustrations don't do the words justice, sometimes conveying additional information but also cluttered with unrelated decorative elements and the antics of the animals operating the equipment. An elephant riding the firetruck while spraying water from its trunk is both silly and confusing, especially given the fire hydrant languishing in the foreground. The final spread reprises some of the animals along with a few goofy-looking white humans saying “We want to ride in a rescue vehicle.” Young readers won't join in.

This book needs a rescue of its own. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56846-288-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE

Little Blue Truck feels, well, blue when he delivers valentine after valentine but receives nary a one.

His bed overflowing with cards, Blue sets out to deliver a yellow card with purple polka dots and a shiny purple heart to Hen, one with a shiny fuchsia heart to Pig, a big, shiny, red heart-shaped card to Horse, and so on. With each delivery there is an exchange of Beeps from Blue and the appropriate animal sounds from his friends, Blue’s Beeps always set in blue and the animal’s vocalization in a color that matches the card it receives. But as Blue heads home, his deliveries complete, his headlight eyes are sad and his front bumper droops ever so slightly. Blue is therefore surprised (but readers may not be) when he pulls into his garage to be greeted by all his friends with a shiny blue valentine just for him. In this, Blue’s seventh outing, it’s not just the sturdy protagonist that seems to be wilting. Schertle’s verse, usually reliable, stumbles more than once; stanzas such as “But Valentine’s Day / didn’t seem much fun / when he didn’t get cards / from anyone” will cause hitches during read-alouds. The illustrations, done by Joseph in the style of original series collaborator Jill McElmurry, are pleasant enough, but his compositions often feel stiff and forced.

Little Blue Truck keeps on truckin’—but not without some backfires. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-27244-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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A terrific choice for the preschool crowd.

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TIME FOR SCHOOL, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Little Blue Truck learns that he can be as important as the big yellow school bus.

Little Blue Truck is driving along the country road early one morning when he and driver friend Toad come across a big, yellow, shiny school bus. The school bus is friendly, and so are her animal passengers, but when Little Blue Truck wishes aloud he could do an important job like hers, the school bus says only a bus of her size and features can do this job. Little Blue Truck continues along, a bit envious, and finds Piggy crying by the side of the road, having missed the bus. Little Blue tells Piggy to climb in and takes a creative path to the school—one the bus couldn’t navigate—and with an adventurous spirit, gets Piggy there right on time. The simple, rhyming text opens the story with a sweet, fresh, old-fashioned tone and continues with effortlessly rhythmical lines throughout. Little Blue is a brave, helpful, and hopeful character young readers will root for. Adults will feel a rush of nostalgia and delight in sharing this story with children as the animated vehicles and animals in innocent, colorful countryside scenes evoke wholesome character traits and values of growth, grit, and self-acceptance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A terrific choice for the preschool crowd. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-41224-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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