A flower-power VW bus races cross-country along crowded dirt lanes and city freeways to the tune of “This Old Man.”
A chaotic counting adventure ensues as the van and its precariously attached luggage rack motors along past construction vehicles, trains, tractors, and anything else on wheels: “This old van, she passed ONE, / shining in the rising sun. / With a click clack rattle rack, / ready for some fun, / this old van says, / ‘GOOD-BYE, ONE!’ ” Conahan’s soft pastel palette and comically inventive, Peter Max–inspired illustrations—from the grinning, wide-eyed bulldozers to the hard-hat–wearing mountain goats—are reminiscent of the Saturday-morning-cartoons of the 1960s. The peace-sign–waving, green-shaded–, tie-dye–, and bell-bottom–sporting grandparents who own the titular van leave their home on Hippie Way in Groovytown to keep a date with their grandson Jake for his derby meet. Challenged by flat tires and flying dirt clods, the happy-go-lucky, aging flower children don’t let anything keep them down for long. With the pedal to the metal, Gramps at last cajoles (with Granny and the dog pushing from behind) the aging van over one last hill to the finish line.
This intergenerational romp filled with sight gags and puns will keep readers humming as they pore over each detail-packed page. (Picture book. 3-8)