Children's Book Reviews

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Big Blue Engine by Ken Wilson-Max

Cartwheel Books, May 2000
Board Book, 14 pages
Ages 3-6
ISBN: 0439136555.
Ordering information:

Big Blue Engine
by Ken Wilson-Max Ken Wilson-Max's interactive board books series are always popular with children. In Big, Blue Engine, children can interact with the story by pulling or pushing tabs to answer the phone, pull down the handle on the switcher, start up the engine, hook up the freight car, ride over bridges and through tunnels, unload freight, dock a huge ship and return to the station for the night. The pull tabs are sturdy, so this is an interactive board book that should last a while. The colors are vibrant and the illustrations of the trains, tracks and background are eye-catching. Any little train lover will adore Big, Blue Engine.

Big Silver Space Shuttle by Ken Wilson-Max

Cartwheel Books, May 2000.
Board Book, 14 pages
Ages 3-6
ISBN: 0439136563.
Ordering information:

Big Silver Space Shuttle
by Ken Wilson-Max Ken Wilson-Max has outdone himself with this wonderful, interactive board book which follows the space shuttle from takeoff to landing. The story starts with the familiar countdown to liftoff: "The countdown begins…3-2-1…Liftoff!" The gantry can be raised, and the shuttle on the bright red rocket booster shoots skyward with a touch. The shuttle leaves Earth's atmosphere, releases the fuel tank and rocket boosters and settles into orbit. Children can work the computer (which has a nifty message on it from Mission Control), work the orbital maneuvering system, activate the satellite, and then head for home. The landing features a pull-out tab to open the big, red parachute. The technical jargon and the beautifully rendered space illustrations elevate this board book far above most other interactive books. After reading this book a few hundred times, don't be surprised if your child annouces that he or she is going to grow up to be a starship captain. Highly recommended.

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