Highly imaginative preschooler Miles is back, this time competing winningly with his friends in a car race.
Readers first met Miles in his debut, Miles to Go (2010), in which he “drove” his foot-powered car, Flintstones-style, to his preschool and parked it next to his classmates’ rides. This time, the students at his school are taking a race lap around the playground, but there’s some stiff competition—new student Indie has a Speedster 660, an electric car. Lined up at the start line, Indie’s engine “vroom”s while the other racers tap their feet. Go! From there, onomatopoeia and simple sentences describe the intense action of the race: “Miles takes the lead early. Watch out! Rough track ahead! // Screeeech! Miles escapes the three-car pileup.” But these preschoolers seem to be more concerned about being kind than being fast. All cheer; Miles backs up to check on Otto when he spins out; when Indie’s car sputters, Miles considers taking the easy win but makes a better choice; the victor shares the prize. Winning is not about being fastest. As in the first book, Harper mixes block prints with mixed-media collage, adding interesting patterns and textures to the illustrations, and a map on both endpapers shows the racecourse around the playground.
The charm in Harper’s Miles books doesn’t get old—children using their imaginations, directing their own play, and showing empathy and kindness for all. What could be better? (Picture book. 3-7)