This is one road kids will be happy to travel again.

ROAD CREW, COMING THROUGH!

From the Construction Site series

There’s no crew like a familiar crew! Rinker’s perpetually cheery vehicles are back to build a road.

From construction crew to road crew, the intrepid heroes that first made their appearance in Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2011), have returned yet again, with Ford illustrating, as he has since 2018. In this new iteration, the team has settled in a land of mesas, cacti, and scrub. Joined by new vehicles Compacter, Scraper, Grader, Roller, Striper, Water Truck, and Paver, they are given plans to construct a route “from here…to there,” and there’s not a moment to lose. After all, this isn’t just any road. It’s a “SUPERHIGHWAY, MEGA ROAD!” The rhyming text follows each piece of equipment as they do their part in paving the dusty landscape. In the course of a day (or so it would appear) the road is finished. That cars and trucks are able to use it immediately strains at the tensile strength of adult credulity, but construction-loving tots won’t care a jot. And conflict-averse youngsters needn’t worry, as not a thing goes wrong. To offset some of the natural concerns regarding the construction of superhighways, the book takes care to include wildlife crossings within the illustrations and adds an explanation at the end about their necessity. Vehicles are identified with both male and female pronouns throughout. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This is one road kids will be happy to travel again. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-79720-472-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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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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