The flash and thrill of the race car track—it’s all here in a zippy counting book just right for the toddler set.
“Red light, yellow light, green light, GO!” Spread by spread, the cars enter the track, each one highlighted in numeric order as if by an announcer: “Race car 8 is dynamite— / thunders, roars, swerves to the right.” The rhyme, plenty of action words, and some onomatopoeia sustain the excitement, while these slightly goofy-looking autos with expressive grilles charge around a course of loop-de-loops and obstacles. Making the most of vertical planes, tense, comical moments during the heat are captured in the bright digital art: racers are splashed, engines burn out (ducks compose the pit crew), and autos pile up (the ducks go flying). Even the clunky, bold type seems to emphasize the funky nature of the circuit and the contestants. Anticipation builds as the competition is called, but this is not about who wins. The race is concluding by the time the last contestant is introduced—No. 10, who “finished last. / Still, his wheels were lightning fast.” Groovy. Just like his name. (The final page names all 10, along with some of their interests, such as collecting oil caps or savoring hot peppers.)
When the cars line up for another race, children will cheer. (Picture book. 2-5)