Mixed-up vehicle parts encourage readers to make a helicopter or invent a tow-ambulance-copter in this inventively formatted board book.
Each page is cut into three horizontal panels. The left-hand page is sectioned into vehicle parts: wheels on the bottom, truck or plane bodies in the middle, and extras such as lights or ladders on top. Individual panels can be flipped for a mix-and-match effect. Digital illustrations are unfussy and utilize a pleasingly minimal palette of primary colors. The various drivers are a diverse crowd, with child and pet passengers along for the ride. Whereas the boldly lined vehicle pieces on the left three panels blend intuitively, the same cannot be said for the text. The right-hand page panels are divided into an action statement, a sound, and a location, occasionally yielding some awkward combinations: “I am ready / NnneeaOOwwwww / along the path.” Readers seeking a transportation concept book should look elsewhere, as combining the panels into a conventional vehicle can be a frustrating experience. Vehicle-savvy children, however, will delight in designing fantastical forms of transportation, and the sturdy cardboard pages will hold up to their enthusiastic turns. For readers who prefer exclusively airborne transit, Motor Mix: Flight showcases helicopters, rockets, and planes.
While adult readers may wince as they try to fit vehicle pieces together and at the sometimes-stilted dialogue, creative preschoolers will find plenty of interactive fun devising their next “Motor Mix.” (Board book. 2-4)