An engaging underdog story that’s likely to float anyone’s boat.

LILY LEADS THE WAY

The small can also be mighty.

A little sailboat named Lily needs the Aerial Lift Bridge spanning the Duluth Ship Canal in Duluth, Minnesota, to lift so that she can pass from the harbor into Lake Superior in order to greet a fleet of “grand old tall ships” who are scheduled to visit. As she sails through the harbor, she blows her horn to signal the bridge to lift; but other, bigger vessels are louder than she is and push her aside. At last, Lily is able to slip through just at the last moment. On the other side of the bridge, she greets five different kinds of ships who need her because they don’t have horns to honk to let the bridge know they need to be let into the harbor. Lily leads the way and saves the day! Almost all of the exquisitely detailed illustrations, done in oil paints, are full-bleed double-page spreads, allowing the reader to sense the scope of the waterscape and feel as if they are on the lake right alongside Lily. The palette demonstrates just how many shades of blue water can be, and Myers adeptly portrays lots of waves and movement, bringing excitement to a mild body of water such as a harbor. In total, readers will learn about 11 different kinds of boats and six kinds of bridges. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An engaging underdog story that’s likely to float anyone’s boat. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1403-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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