Trucks At First Sight (Martha Jaworowski)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Trucks At First Sight by Martha Jaworowski, a fun counting and seek-and-find book for young vehicle enthusiasts.

The day the unnamed narrator saw trucks for the first time, it was love at first sight! Taking readers on a visual trip through different types of large vehicles – such as logging trucks, forklifts, excavators, fire engines, and so on – in colorful and visually stimulating illustrations, the audience can find their own “truck at first sight.”

Clever theming with unique artwork. While the “story” and title concept are a little weak, Jaworowski makes up for this with incredibly well-designed visuals and text snippets starring each featured vehicle. The counting elements are well-integrated into the fun-to-read text, and the silhouetted artwork is complex and engaging without being overwhelming (though readers should be aware, due to the color scheme of most of the pages, in which the “findable” vehicles are a simply a darker shade of the same color used for the surrounding objects, this one will be a challenge for those with color-blindness). The length is perfect for a quick storytime, and JJ really enjoyed tackling the text and spotting the trucks. Overall, a great title for young gearheads, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Little Monster Trucks Go! (Doug Cenko)

Hello, friends! Back with another special weekend review! Our book today is Little Monster Trucks Go! by Doug Cenko, a fun and fast-paced tale of competition and teamwork.

Five little uniquely-shaped monster trucks are ready for race day! Each one has their own special style and flair, and is prepared to take on the challenging racetrack. There are plenty of perils ahead, but each little monster truck is equipped with special tools and features that help them jump over gaps and plow through mud. But wait – at the end of the track, a giant boulder blocks their path? None of the trucks can do it on their own… but with a little tricky transformation, these ingenious trucks are not out of the race yet.

A fun ride with a sweet message. Telling a pretty straightforward tale of teamwork with bouncy yet somewhat underwhelming rhymes, it’s Cenko’s unique art elements that elevate the story to something special. For one thing, the play on words of “little monster trucks” is doubly delightful; it’s both an oxymoron and a double-meaning, as the vehicles themselves are not just monster trucks but also trucks that are monsters. What’s more, I loved that two of the trucks had distinctly “feminine” designs – it shows that interest in vehicles need not be something perceived as strictly “masculine.” The bright colors and comic book-style action sequences were exciting visually, and it enhanced the story immensely; even the endpapers, which feature the track map and stats for each car, are creative and fun. The length was great for a quick storytime, and JJ really enjoyed this one, especially the unicorn car that left a wake of rainbows. Overall, this one is an enjoyable adventure with a nice message on working together, and some great subtext on inclusion. We liked it, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Snakes On The Job (Kathryn Dennis)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Snakes On The Job by Kathryn Dennis, a delightful look at how different work vehicles come together to complete a job.

As the workday begins for some very busy snakes, they all pile into their equally hardworking vehicles: cranes, bulldozers, dump trucks, forklifts, and excavators, to name a few. The engines go vROOM and, much like the snakes themselves, “Hisssssssssssssh goes the sound of the brakes”. Each subsequent page explains the function of the individual trucks, showing how cranes lift big objects into place, backhoes dig holes for posts, and food trucks keep everyone fed, all while the snakes work together on a massive project: a playground for everyone to enjoy!

Loads of fun. Dennis’s illustrations utilize simple shapes and colorblock figures against mostly white backgrounds to achieve a bright and vivid world without being overstimulating. The cheerful rhyming text does a fantastic job of tying the book’s elements together, concisely explaining the vehicles while also emphasizing the importance of teamwork and sharing, and the onomatopoeic refrain is delightful, especially for young snake lovers. The length is great for preschool-age or younger bookworms, and JJ and I had a blast reading it. This is a great read for little builders, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Race Car Dreams & Bulldozer Dreams (Sharon Chriscoe)

Hello, friends! Our books today are Race Car Dreams and Bulldozer Dreams, written by Sharon Chriscoe and illustrated by Dave Mottram and John Joven, respectively.

Both stories follow the same beats: after a long and fun-filled day, the titular vehicle readies for bed, getting cleaned up, having a yummy meal, reading a book, then snuggling in for a good night’s sleep. After falling asleep, we follow each to dreamland to see what little vehicles dream of as they rest up for the next big day.

Very cute. “Getting ready for bed” books can often seem like a dime a dozen, and while they often employ a theme or gimmick, it has to be a good one to stand out. While I was a little surprised that the stories were so similar for both books, I understand the appeal: some kids like race cars, and some like construction vehicles. Beyond that, it’s the bouncy rhyming text and warm, cheerful illustrations that give these books their charm, and both have it in spades. From details like the race car snuggling his wrench for bed, the bulldozer dreaming of building a playground for smiling children, down to the living objects that populate their worlds, there’s a wealth of fun to be had for little bookworms who love things that go. The length of both is perfect for a bedtime story, and JJ (who is not normally a big vehicle enthusiast) really loved these and smiled from ear to ear as we read. Adorable bedtime fun, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of both books were provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

I Love You For Miles And Miles (Alison Goldberg)

Hello, friends! Our book today is I Love You For Miles And Miles, written by Alison Goldberg and illustrated by Mike Yamada, a unique vehicle-themed ode to the love between a mother and child.

A mother bear and her cub (no gender is specified for the latter) have a bond like no other. Her love for her baby is longer than the longest train, whose cars can stretch for miles and miles. It’s faster than the fastest fire truck, rushing to the rescue whenever she’s needed. It’s bigger than the biggest truck, and higher than the highest airplane, and steadier than the steadiest tugboat. And just like the vehicles, it’s always up to the task of helping, protecting, and caring for her little one.

This was pretty darn cute. Motherly love is certainly a theme that has no shortage of picture books, but I liked the twist of using big vehicles to describe a mother’s love – rather than a father’s – to a child of no specific gender. Big vehicle books are often geared towards boys only, and it’s nice that there’s some flexibility here that allows for girls and moms to learn about vehicles while celebrating parental bonds. The illustrations are fine, highlighting the vehicles and the bears’ relationship in visually energetic ways and mostly bright colors. The length is good too, and JJ liked it, so this one is Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)