RACER DOGS by Bob Kolar


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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Kolar (A Cat and a Dog, not reviewed, etc.) illustrates his busy scenes of canines cruising in cars in a cool palette of blues, grays, and citrus shades, with cartoon-style characters in a retro style and flat perspective similar to that of J.otto Seibold’s Mr. Lunch books. This rhyming story features a dog-eat-dog car race that takes place first on a race track and later on country roads and on a maze of highways. Readers follow a group of eight canine contestants through various mishaps as they fight for the prize (a large trophy cup), but the race ends in a huge pileup, and the actual winner is unclear. Sharp-eyed readers who know their traditional children’s literature will spot the green turtle and pink rabbit (the tortoise and the hare) who attempt to follow the racecourse on foot, and the tortoise actually wins the race. The story itself is told in sing-song rhyming verses that occasionally sputter or stall, with some uneven rhymes that could have benefited from further tune-up. Kolar works lots of visual humor into his illustrations in background details of race fans and city features, with many different animals observing the race. Checkerboard endpapers show each doggie driver identified by name, including two female drivers, with one named Bingo—the only dog smart enough to read her map. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-45939-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003


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