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RED WAGON by Renata Liwska Kirkus Star

RED WAGON

By Renata Liwska (Author) , Renata Liwska (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25237-2
Publisher: Philomel

A mundane task fills with delicious thrills. Lucy asks permission to play with her new red wagon, so mom agreeably sends her to market with it—but, hmm, “That sounded like a chore. Lucy didn’t want to do chores.” Never fear; this journey is anything but dull. Adroitly pairing innocently understated prose with pictures of simple but imaginative adventures, Liwska invites readers to giggle at Lucy’s impressive escapades that unfold entirely visually. When the rainy countryside becomes a roaring ocean, the wagon’s a sailboat riding cresting waves. The wagon also becomes a rocket ship, a train, a construction-site truck and a covered wagon. At the carnival/circus (market), “Lucy neatly loaded the wagon with vegetables from her list”—by juggling them with help from a trapeze flyer. The illustrator’s pencil work is nimble, her backgrounds airy and free, with hatched grasses for these child animals—cousins of her characters in Deborah Underwood’s Quiet Book (2010)—to romp in. The colors glow softly. Red wagon’s last role? The perfect nap-spot for a girl all played out. A winner. (Picture book. 2-5)