Short, sweet, and engaging; a sing-along introduction to furry first responders.

THE WHEELS ON THE FIRE TRUCK

“The Wheels on the Bus” gets an extra syllable, a siren, a hose, and a snazzy new ladder.

This variation on the popular children’s song should hit the spot with budding truck aficionados among the diapered set. The text is a straight adaptation of “The Wheels on the Bus,” with firetruck and firefighting themes replacing the sights and sounds of a bus rider’s commute. The siren goes “Woo-woo-woo,” the lights go “Flash, flash, flash,” the riders “hold on tight,” the ladder goes “up, up, up,” and the hose, of course, goes “swish-swish-swish—now, the fire’s out.” The book won’t win awards for originality, but it should be a toddler pleaser. The colors on the cover are an explosion of reflective red foil against a bright yellow background; the interior colors are more muted but still bright and cheery. The firefighters and onlookers are anthropomorphic animals in firefighter costume or civvies, as the case may be. Characters include a racoon, some bunnies, a fox, and a woodchuck, among others, all rendered in an accessible, cartoony style. Between the bright colors and the smiling gameness of the furry firefighters, the proceedings should excite and delight most tots. 

Short, sweet, and engaging; a sing-along introduction to furry first responders. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4244-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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