Picture Book Reviews: Snow Days & Shape Up, Construction Trucks!

Hello and happy Friday, lovely readers! I have been on quite a delightful picture book kick lately, and wanted to keep it going to the week’s end with two terrific reads courtesy of friends at Pajama Press. On the review docket today I will be talking about Snow Days by Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato, and Shape Up, Construction Trucks! by Victoria Allenby. Enjoy!

Snow Days, written by award-winning Canadian author Deborah Kerbel (My Deal With the Universe, Sun Dog with Suzanne Del Rizzo), and Japanese-Canadian illustrator Miki Sato (Golden Threads with Suzanne Del Rizzo) team up to bring readers the gorgeously cozy rhyming story Snow Days. An ode to different kinds of snow and all the wonders, activities, fun and changes that the snow offers and brings, Snow Days takes readers on a joyful journey. Moving through “first snow, surprise snow”, to “second snow” which “sticks around”, to the beautiful “festive glow” of “Christmas snow”, all the way to “last snow, tame and shy, winter’s quiet wave goodbye”, Kerbel and Sato not only highlight play and activities that can come with each kind of snow, but also gently point readers to think about the changes that come when the season slowly moves away from winter to spring. With Miki Sato’s gorgeous and cheerful multi-textured, paper collage images (be sure take a close-up look at the snowflakes!) and Deborah Kerbel’s precise and lively rhythmic couplets, Snow Days is a snuggly, bouncy and softly reflective reading experience- and one that is truly perfect for reading aloud. Additionally, at the book’s end, five simple science experiment involving snow are offered- just right for any potential snow days ahead! Note: Snow Days is published in “Toddler Tough” format: a more compact picture book size and form, with a padded cover and sturdy, slightly thicker glossy pages. Great for exploring little hands!

Victoria Allenby‘s (Rhino Rumpus with Tara Anderson) newest picture book Shape Up, Construction Trucks! brings readers a bright, bold, and fun story all about two highly interesting subjects: trucks and shapes! With a terrifically clean and clever layout relying on rhyme and repetition, each page spread focuses on introducing one truck (e.g. a dump truck) and one shape (e.g. a triangle). For example, the spread featuring an excavator reads: “Excavator/Excavator/Coming through!/I spy a semicircle-/How about you?”. The same rhythmic format is followed for all of the trucks- from bulldozer, concrete mixer, and more- making it simple and exciting for young readers to follow along, call-back and guess. Readers can also simultaneously play a seek-and-find game by locating each specific shape on the photograph of each corresponding truck. While every page offers a different shape to learn about, it is done such a fashion that will most likely make readers feel comfortable and emboldened to practice what they’ve learned! Likely to be a hit during read aloud time and/or with readers who adore anything related to trucks or construction vehicles, Victoria Allenby’s starred-reviewed book offers as much opportunity for discovery and learning as it does fun in investigating trucks. Shape Up, Construction Trucks! also offers some fantastic extras by way of suggested educational activities at the book’s end! Note: Shape Up, Construction Trucks! is published in “Toddler Tough” format: a more compact picture book size and form, with a padded cover and sturdy, slightly thicker matte pages. Great for exploring little hands!

I received copies of these titles courtesy of Pajama Press in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions and comments are my own. Snow Days is set for publication November 24, 2020; Shape Up, Construction Trucks! has been published and is currently available.

Author: michelle@fabbookreviews

Children's Librarian. Reader. Reviewer.

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