Pure, disarming horseplay served on a bed of charismatic artwork.

DON'T SQUISH THE SASQUATCH!

Mr. Sasquatch tempts fate—a good squishing—when he boards Mr. Blobule’s city bus.

“Hello, Mr. Blobule! May I please ride your bus?” asks Mr. Sasquatch to open this gladdening bit of tomfoolery from Redeker. Traveling through a city where French curves meet plane geometry in a style as idiosyncratic as Art Deco and all Staake’s own, others ask to ride the bus. There are Miss Goat-Whale, Mr. Octo-Rhino, Miss Loch-Ness-Monster-Space-Alien, all in a roundelay of " ‘May I please ride your bus?’ / ‘Of course you may ride my bus…. But please… // Don’t squish the Sasquatch!’ " Who, of course, gets more squished with each new rider, his eyes rotating, his hat boinging off, his arms flailing, until—“KA-BLOOEY!!” This work will not be denied engagement, whether children join the circle dance of words, with their simple, sunny musicality, or pore closely over the fanciful city the bus passes through. Mr. Sasquatch’s final delamination takes place in a fine, eruptive double-gatefold, which inspires a group hug, which triggers Mr. Sasquatch’s claustrophobia switch again.

Pure, disarming horseplay served on a bed of charismatic artwork. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: June 19, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-5232-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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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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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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