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ON THE GO AWESOME by Lisl H. Detlefsen


by Lisl H. Detlefsen ; illustrated by Robert Neubecker

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-9848-5234-2
Publisher: Knopf

Dedicated to the notion that there is always something more awesome to attempt.

A kid lets their mind wander to its natural limits. If, for example, “trains are cool,” and if “watching a train is very cool,” and if “riding on a train is even cooler,” then “conducting a train through the mountains” must be “CHUGGA CHUGGA AWESOME!” This pattern is replicated with a wide variety of other heavy-duty machines. Operating an excavator? “DIG INTO AWESOME!” Piloting a plane? “PREPARE FOR AWESOME!” The child, who has pale skin, like parents and sibling, and straight, dark hair, imagines operating subway trains, monster trucks, boats, and rockets. (Background characters are racially diverse; the woman-of-color co-pilot is a nice touch.) Finally the kid looks out the window of a camper. “Campers are cool. Wait! Are campers cool?” They sure are, and this is one family adventure the kid can actually take outside of the imagination. Detlefsen’s text delights in drilling into just how much fun each of the activities featured could be. Meanwhile, the colorful, cartoon artwork meticulously works to render every “awesome” encounter in its natural, amazing extreme. From the blinding array of instruments in the cockpit of an airplane to the sight of tiny cars being crushed beneath monster wheels, there’s a jolt of adrenaline cooked into every page. The transportation-obsessed have found a new tale to pore over. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 30.5% of actual size.)

Hyperbole taken to the utmost thanks to the bottomless well of transportation enthusiasm.

(Picture books. 2-4)