In a tale reminiscent of the song “Hush Little Baby,” a father reassures his kindergartener about how he will get back to him if the old green car finally gives up the ghost.
If the car won’t start, he’ll ride the neighbor’s tractor. But Matthew is too full of “what if”s to accept any answer his father gives. “And if the big red tractor is busy on the farm?” Then dad will be carried to Matthew by Martin, Matthew’s teddy bear. If Martin won’t wake up, the dad will recruit all the birds in the trees to carry him to his son at school. This give-and-take continues through ever more fanciful ideas until dad simply says he will use his legs (exaggeratedly elongated in the illustrations) to fetch Matthew from school. Guillerey’s flat, retro-styled illustrations are full of bold colors and stylized shapes. But some are head-scratchers: on the page when the text tells of dad putting a rabbit under each foot to hop him to school, the picture shows him popping out of a hole, the rabbits already beside it. (Perhaps a literal depiction of the dad standing atop each bunny was a nonstarter?) All of the humans are paper-white with pink cheeks; the father is blond, and the boy has brown hair.
For flights of fancy, stick with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street . (Picture book. 2-5)