Young readers who love these powerful machines will find endless fascination here.

MACHINES GO TO WORK IN THE CITY

Trains, planes, trucks and cranes and the people who make them work keep the city moving.

“Vroom” goes the garbage truck as it lumbers through town and finishes up at the landfill. The train’s brakes “pssssshhhhh” as it passes slowly by the track workers. A vacuum truck, a bucket truck, a tower crane, a baggage carrier and a passenger plane all do their heavy work with their dedicated and skilled operators and support workers. Maintaining and expanding upon the format he employed in his earlier work (Machines Go to Work, 2009), Low presents each vehicle, with an appropriate onomatopoetic sound, in two double-page spreads wherein a simply stated question is posed with the answer appearing on a gate-fold that enlarges the view even further. The machines and workers are sharply focused, large-scaled, detailed and brightly hued, while the city backgrounds are more subtly imagined in softer shades of yellows, purples and browns. When the busy day ends, the plane takes off and soars over a sunset-drenched New York City as nighttime lights begin to twinkle. In an addendum, carefully labeled, smaller-scaled versions of the machines appear with further information in more sophisticated language, a welcome aid to parents in answering the inevitable detail-seeking questions.

Young readers who love these powerful machines will find endless fascination here. (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9050-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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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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Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted.

GOING PLACES

Imagination soars—quite literally—when a little girl follows her own set of rules.

Every year Oak Hill School has a go-kart race called the Going Places contest. Students are given identical go-kart kits with a precise set of instructions. And of course, every single kart ends up exactly the same. Every one, that is, except Maya’s. Maya is a dreamy artist, and she would rather sketch birds in her backyard than get caught up in the competition. When she finally does start working, she uses the parts in the go-kart box but creates something completely different. No one ever said it had to be a go-kart. Maya’s creative thinking inspires Rafael, her neighbor (and the most enthusiastic Going Places contestant), to ask to team up. The instructions never say they couldn’t work together, either! An ode to creativity and individuality to be sure, but the Reynolds brothers are also taking a swipe at modern education: Endless repetition and following instructions without question create a culture of conformity. Hopefully now, readers will see infinite possibility every time the system hands them an identical go-kart box.

Not astonishingly go-out-and-buy-it-at-graduation inspirational, but all it takes is one seed of change to be planted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6608-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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