The book may be about garbage, but it’s pure gold.

VROOM VROOM GARBAGE TRUCK

A 30-page tour de force of a board book that is even better than its title would suggest.

Given a toddler’s natural fascination for heavy equipment in general and for garbage trucks in particular, this volume could have offered far less and still been a hit. But, surprise, this cleverly written and lovingly rendered volume should prove an absolute delight for caregivers and tots alike. This onomatopoeic opus is ideal read-aloud fun, a slice-of-life snapshot of a garbage truck featuring all the signature sounds that alert tykes that the truck is nearby. It’s still dark when the titular truck wakes to the “plip plop” of raindrops and then starts with a click, headlights on, ready for a creaking, clanging day of rubbish collection. The illustrations are charming and economical, imbuing the protagonist with huge amounts of personality with surprisingly few (satisfyingly thick) lines. The text is hand-lettered into each illustration; the volume of each “rumble” and “vroom” is conveyed calligraphically, by the relative sizes of the letters. The day of sanitation engineering is replete with drama and triumph, whether braking for ducklings or backing up (“beep beep beep!!!”) to collect trash from a man who overslept (“AAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” is the one line of dialogue in the book). The smiling truck dumps its load from its aft end in a panel that could have come from a book on potty training and then heads home for the night.

The book may be about garbage, but it’s pure gold. (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-943147-43-4

Page Count: 30

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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