This latest entry in the I Like to Read series can be paired with Lewin’s Look! (2012) as natural history for the very young.

WHAT AM I? WHERE AM I?

From the I Like To Read series

A straightforward guessing game connects iconic animals to their habitats.

In 21 words arranged in simple sentences, Lewin offers emergent readers a pleasing package of wildlife puzzles. Keyhole images open up to double-page spreads of an animal against a white background, which is then followed by a full-page picture of that animal in its natural habitat. Lions rest in the grassland. Reindeer roam the tundra. Two wild Bactrian camels with patchy pelts stand patiently in the desert. A sea otter floats in water on its back, holding a clam. A tiger sprawls on a forest floor. All are depicted in luminous watercolors, lightly outlined with pencil. The animals are rendered in myriad shades of gray and brown; the blues of the ocean and greens of the forest are similarly varied. A culminating page connects these creatures to readers, showing “a boy…on the beautiful earth.” Behind the smiling boy, a blue marble image of the Earth is oriented so that both North and South America can be seen. The patterned repetition of the title questions and the identifiable images will make even pre-readers feel competent; they’ll need only just a little help with the habitat names to master the text.

This latest entry in the I Like to Read series can be paired with Lewin’s Look! (2012) as natural history for the very young. (Early reader. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2856-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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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 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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