Like Eric Barclay’s Counting Dogs (2015), a sturdy “book in a box” that will hold up to rough handling.
Five layered, die-cut pages visible on recto upon opening the book hint at five race cars. Each page turn changes the background and reveals in turn more information about the vehicles—which, it turns out, are not race cars like the first one but a green sedan, blue van, yellow pickup truck, and purple SUV (which looks rather more like a hearse than an SUV). Unfortunately, the rhyming verses don't always work with the illustrations. The first stanza says, “Bob is zooming to the lead,” but the red race car is actually at the rear of the pack. Similarly, the text says that “green smoke comes out” of the green car, but the smoke in the picture is clearly gray. Spoiler alert—the final page turn and verse find the animal drivers leaving their cars and changing into running gear for a track meet. The rhymes scan, and there are plenty of signs and pictures to discuss, but there is a hair too much text for toddler attention spans.
Toddlers who need the board-book pages will be confused by the story, and there are better choices for preschoolers fascinated by cars and trucks. (Board book. 1-3)