This board book and its simultaneously publishing companion, Around the World, start with an intriguing and potentially useful premise, providing pre-readers with an indented track to trace their ways through the pictures.
If the goal is to train these very young children to “read” from left to right, the gimmick is a failure: the line doesn’t usually follow the conventions of reading English, nor is the rhyming text always parallel to the tracking line. For example, on one double-page spread, the line moves down the page, back to the left, then across and up the opposite page, to end in front of a car facing left. On the other hand, if the goal is to provide an activity so wiggly children will be content to spend time looking at each page, it might work. More likely the young reader will focus on the track and forget to look at the detailed but rather small illustrations done in the muted shades of retro letterpress. There is actually much to study and talk about on each page— different kinds of cars, houses, and hidden owl characters, plus some images not expected in a book for toddlers. (Can you find the sewer rat or UFO?) The “follow-the-trail” interaction seems to be an unnecessary gimmick and distraction.
Purchase for children who need action while they read, but read along to ensure that they slow down to actually look at the pictures. (Board book. 1-3)