AIR SHOW!

Airplane-crazy kids will find new friends in Ellie, who longs to fly stunt planes, and Gill, her know-it-all brother, as they take an exciting flight to the air show in their father’s plane. Filled with the important chatter between pilots and air-traffic controllers about take-off and landing, the book treats young enthusiasts to a backseat tour of a flight, from last-minute fueling to landing. Once the children arrive at the air show, Gill’s book knowledge tells the story of the planes. Showing off his encyclopedic mastery of the subject, Gill spews facts about horsepower, speed and even the distance between the wingtips of the Blue Angel jets in flight (a soda-can length) in a not-always-natural delivery. When Ellie’s dream comes true, though, readers experience the joy of flying through her eyes. Neubecker’s signature ink-and–boldly colored illustrations show the same enthusiasm for flying that the children do and are detailed enough to pore over, especially the gatefold showing all the planes at the show. Though thin on plot, this first book from actor and flight instructor Williams is a perfect book for kids who love planes and flying. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1185-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off.

TINY LITTLE ROCKET

This rocket hopes to take its readers on a birthday blast—but there may or may not be enough fuel.

Once a year, a one-seat rocket shoots out from Earth. Why? To reveal a special congratulatory banner for a once-a-year event. The second-person narration puts readers in the pilot’s seat and, through a (mostly) ballad-stanza rhyme scheme (abcb), sends them on a journey toward the sun, past meteors, and into the Kuiper belt. The final pages include additional information on how birthdays are measured against the Earth’s rotations around the sun. Collingridge aims for the stars with this title, and he mostly succeeds. The rhyme scheme flows smoothly, which will make listeners happy, but the illustrations (possibly a combination of paint with digital enhancements) may leave the viewers feeling a little cold. The pilot is seen only with a 1960s-style fishbowl helmet that completely obscures the face, gender, and race by reflecting the interior of the rocket ship. This may allow readers/listeners to picture themselves in the role, but it also may divest them of any emotional connection to the story. The last pages—the backside of a triple-gatefold spread—label the planets and include Pluto. While Pluto is correctly labeled as a dwarf planet, it’s an unusual choice to include it but not the other dwarfs: Ceres, Eris, etc. The illustration also neglects to include the asteroid belt or any of the solar system’s moons.

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-18949-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: David Fickling/Phoenix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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