Only the extinct would fail to enjoy this kicky amalgamation of dinos, deals, and automobiles.

WHAT KIND OF CAR DOES A T. REX DRIVE?

Dinosaurs and vehicular modes of transportation meld in symbiotic bliss.

What’s a used car salesman to do? Ava and Mickey’s uncle Otto is having a summer sale, but the customers aren’t coming. Or are they? When dinosaurs arrive looking for wheels, the kids’ dino knowledge helps to put the right terrible lizard in the right car. The herbivorous stegosaurus gets one that it can take off the road and into the forests, for instance. Then a T. Rex with a short fuse arrives on the scene, and it’ll be curtains for our heroes unless they can find him the best transport (and pronto!). Colorful and goofy, even the Rex, these dinos are the visual stars of this show. Much of the brush and ink work (colored digitally) appears simple, but details lurk, such as the perpetually changing signs around the lot. And one of the best unspoken gags is how every ungainly creature gamely drives off the lot, no matter how oversized they might be. The range of cars exceeds that of dinosaurs, but kids who are fans of either will find plenty to enjoy. Alas, while the book does take care to include a female dino in the mix, she stereotypically buys the only vehicle with flowers on it and calls a saleskid “a dear.” Ava, Mickey, and Uncle Otto all have light skin and straight, black hair.

Only the extinct would fail to enjoy this kicky amalgamation of dinos, deals, and automobiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4123-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.

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LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET

A young boy yearns for what he doesn’t have, but his nana teaches him to find beauty in what he has and can give, as well as in the city where they live.

CJ doesn’t want to wait in the rain or take the bus or go places after church. But through Nana’s playful imagination and gentle leadership, he begins to see each moment as an opportunity: Trees drink raindrops from straws; the bus breathes fire; and each person has a story to tell. On the bus, Nana inspires an impromptu concert, and CJ’s lifted into a daydream of colors and light, moon and magic. Later, when walking past broken streetlamps on the way to the soup kitchen, CJ notices a rainbow and thinks of his nana’s special gift to see “beautiful where he never even thought to look.” Through de la Peña’s brilliant text, readers can hear, feel and taste the city: its grit and beauty, its quiet moments of connectedness. Robinson’s exceptional artwork works with it to ensure that readers will fully understand CJ’s journey toward appreciation of the vibrant, fascinating fabric of the city. Loosely defined patterns and gestures offer an immediate and raw quality to the Sasek-like illustrations. Painted in a warm palette, this diverse urban neighborhood is imbued with interest and possibility.

This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-25774-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime.

ELBOW GREASE VS. MOTOZILLA

Who needs sanity when you’ve got family?

The title character of Elbow Grease (2018) and his family of Demolition Derby trucks return to face an all-new competitor. Once again, ’Bo is feeling inadequate next to his fan-favorite brothers. Despite Mel the Mechanic’s encouragement—he’s “the best at getting better”—he wants to be noticed. But instead, he notices someone unavoidable. Motozilla, the monster machine that turns trucks “into crunch sandwiches,” is currently undefeated. Trouble is, you’d need a truck with an array of skills to take him down. Thinking fast, ’Bo makes the wild and somewhat improbable suggestion that he and his brothers join together to form a single supertruck. Will it be enough to take down this bully? Quips, jests, and teamwork are the name of the game as pro wrestler Cena improves on his writing in this second outing, which demonstrates that individual glory falls in the face of concentrated cooperation. Rollicking, radical art portrays the battle in all its gritty glory, mud and twisted metal galore. Human crowds show a diverse range of races and genders, and the trucks’ keeper, Mel, has light-brown skin and wears glasses.

Engines won’t be the only thing roaring their approval when this book hits storytime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7353-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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