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by Babs Bell & illustrated by Bob Staake

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-056222-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

In a tale for tots with topical overtones, an enthusiastic young driver in a toylike red auto goes Zoom! Vroom! Zoom! up and down over winding roads through town and country—until (see title) the trip ends abruptly: “The other cars around me pass. / I think my car is out of gas.” A quick fill-up later—from pumps that offer a choice of “Pricey” or “Extra-Pricey”—the little car is good to go, chugging off “right out of town.” Staake’s stylized illustrations feature bright colors and big, simple, eye-catching geometric shapes, pushing the minimal narrative into the back seat, but armchair motorists will have no trouble following the car as it tootles along a big black road that snakes across the spreads. Outsized round heads with perfectly round eyes and tiny mouths convey a remarkable range of expressions as the car stops and goes. Chris Demarest’s My Little Red Car (1992) makes a natural continuation for the joyride. (Picture book. 3-5)