Who cares? The equation of trucks + bedtime book = best-seller, even if it does set feminism back a few decades.

GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT CONSTRUCTION SITE

From the Construction Site series

A group of construction vehicles put themselves to bed.

Rhyming couplets set the scene (“The sun has set, the work is done; / It’s time for trucks to end their fun”) and then describe their bedtime routines, truck by truck. The crane sets one last beam before settling in, a star-shaped nightlight suspended from his lowered mast and a teddy bear clutched in his stabilizing arms. The cement mixer is hosed down before giving into slumber beneath a much-too-small polka-dot blanket. The dump truck deposits one last load before conking out next to heaps of rubble. As depicted by Lichtenheld, the trucks all have googly windshield eyes and grins that more or less correspond to grilles. They look a lot like Disney Pixar’s Cars, but there are only so many ways to anthropomorphize a truck. He exerts his artistry in other ways; the dump truck’s snores, depicted as a rising stream of ever larger Z’s, float into the night, becoming part of the steel framework of the building under construction. Rinker’s verse does not always scan well, but it is rhythmic enough to carry readers along. It is a real shame that not a single one of these muscular vehicles is female; this employer is clearly not interested in equal opportunity.

Who cares? The equation of trucks + bedtime book = best-seller, even if it does set feminism back a few decades. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7782-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2014

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Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits.

PLANTS FEED ME

This simplest of informational picture books offers a sensible, sunny celebration of the plants—specifically the parts of plants—that we eat.

The opening scene shows a boy seated at table surrounded by a rich harvest. He’s holding a watermelon rind that mirrors the wide grin he wears, helping to set the good-natured tone of the book. As preschoolers examine the pages, they will learn about the featured fruits and vegetables and how they grew. Warm gouache-and–colored-pencil illustrations first depict a garden where “Plants reach up for the sun. / They grow down in the ground.” As the narrator goes on to explain that “I eat different parts from different plants,” such as roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, flowers and seeds, youngsters will find labeled images to peruse. The short, declarative sentences are easily digested by the very youngest and will tempt burgeoning readers to test their skills. Best of all, children will surely be inspired to taste some of the produce the next time it appears on their plates.

Delicious on its own, and it will pair well with other books about gardens, plants and healthy eating habits. (Informational picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2526-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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