There’s more than one way to be the big dog in the little bestiary.
Sam is top dog when it comes to zipping his red roadster around the track. “He was number one in speed. / He was number one at turns. // And he was number one at finishing races in the number-one spot.” Like Sam, Geisel winner Pizzoli’s artwork is crackerjack, too, with pure cupcake colors, French curves, blocks of high-octane negative space and personable animal pals. Then comes the day that Sam doesn’t cross the finish line first. Fortunately, Sam proves not to be a poor loser, but his self-confidence sure takes a shellacking. He’s a wreck, figuratively. When the next big race comes up, he even forgets to wish his friend Maggie good luck. After a slow start, Sam takes the lead. “Sam would be number one again!” Whoa! Five yellow, bespectacled chicks are on the racetrack. Sam hits the brakes and gathers up the peepsters as his friends steam by to the finish line. No. 1 takes on a whole new meaning. Pizzoli’s story is a simple class act. Do the right thing—you can’t lose, ever. And most of the time, the right thing is no great philosophical conundrum but as clear as the checkered flag.
A polished work, from the words to the finish on the race cars.(Picture book. 3-5)