How does a race car get ready for bed?
After a high-octane day, this anthropomorphic race car is tired and “wringing with sweat.” His headlights blink on, and he drives to the pit for a good bath. In addition to the foamy sudsing, he also washes his rims and shines up his chrome. Now he’s as good as new; baby blue with a thick gold stripe running right down the middle and a big “2” on the doors. It’s also time for an oil change; at the shop, “he guzzles and gulps each dark, oily drop.” Now he’s ready for sleep, but not before a good bedtime story. He chooses Run Cheetah, “a book that’s all about speed.” Resting in a green field studded with trees, he “snuggles his wrench” under one wheel as the moon shines bright. He turns on the heat to warm up his grille. “His engine now hums. He lets out a snore. / His bumpers relax and sprawl on the floor.” Chriscoe’s crisply rhyming text is enlivened by lots of punny expressions and colorful language, and little readers are not likely to be sticklers about things like sweaty cars. Mottram’s artwork is similarly bright and lively, though youngsters will notice that the little car doesn’t seem to have a grille, and the “floor” he sprawls on is grass.
All in all, clever, bouncy fun. (Picture book. 3-5)