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AT THE GARAGE by Carron Brown


From the Shine-a-Light series

by Carron Brown ; illustrated by Charlie Davis

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-61067-598-7
Publisher: Kane Miller

Over the course of a day, a parade of vehicles from a motorcycle to a fire truck check in to a garage for servicing, mechanical repairs, a paint job, or a wash.

The text promises “a world of great surprises” when the illustrations of this latest entry in the Shine-a-Light series are positioned in front of a light source. The trick does give viewers a sort of X-ray vision that allows glimpses inside tool boxes and a motor home, and they can see through a building to the tow truck that’s parked around a corner. Some of the details hinted at (a mechanic attaching a huge wheel to a heavy-duty tractor, the tail fins of a 1950s-era roadster, and a car emerging from a car wash, for instance) are at least partially visible and easily recognizable in the illustrations, rendering the silhouetted, backlit view something of an anticlimax. Other details (a motorcycle being, well, detailed and underground gasoline storage tanks, for instance) are a bit more interesting. The various vehicles and tools on display are all thoroughly stylized, too. Still, Davis does stock his preternaturally tidy, clean garage with mechanics of both sexes and dark- as well as light-skinned figures, and the author closes with quick descriptive comments about each type of vehicle that stops in.

May inspire a few test drives but lacking in horsepower next to Leo Timmers’ Gus’s Garage (2017) or even Gail Gibbons’ staid Tranportation (2017).

(Informational novelty. 6-8)