This charming and original book offers much for young readers and their caregivers to talk about as well as encouraging...

CRANE AND CRANE

Singleton compares the activities of a sandhill crane and a construction crane to teach simple vocabulary and to enable readers to observe similarities between two very different things.

Bird and machine are engaged in parallel activities. The bird is building a nest; the crane is building a house for a young couple with a baby on the way. Thus the story is skillfully shifted from the machine to the human story of the baby being born. The only text consists of simple, sometimes onomatopoeic verbs scattered through the pages as the bird and crane “lift” objects; “stretch” their appendages; “honk”; choose, “grab,” and “stack” building materials; and “sway” in a tempestuous wind. Finally the house is built and the nest is complete, and the occupants of both move in. A crane chick hatches from an egg, and a baby is born in the new house. Both families are at peace in their new dwellings. The final word on the page is a noun: “Home.” Smythe’s shimmering watercolor-and-crayon illustrations convey the charming subtext of the nonverbal story of the crane family nesting and hatching and the white human family for whom the house is being built.

This charming and original book offers much for young readers and their caregivers to talk about as well as encouraging comparison and simile skills. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68152-408-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amicus Ink

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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