Wacky racers zoom through an unconventional course. Who will win?
The row of cars at the starting line is a riot of color and a hodgepodge of shapes. “One car, so small, / squeezes in between them all.” The small red car is only half as big as those on either side. Each vehicle emits clouds of exhaust as the race begins. “Go! Go! Go!” The course is wild. There’s an enormous golden cat-shaped tunnel and an equally large birdbath spilling water. “Watch out for the waterfall!” Another tunnel, a landslide, and a big red locomotive running side by side with the cars provide more challenges for the determined speedsters. “Ramp up, fast lane… / try to beat the moving train!” Butterflies and bees hover overhead, and the small red car’s almost blocked by what looks like a giant hose. In the home stretch, the race tightens. The little car drives right off a cliff, landing on the track next to car No. 12, in the lead. Suddenly: “Maaaxwellll…” and a wide-angle view shows a backyard, where a small white boy is holding that little red car in his hand. Ohhhhh. Clues along the way should help children figure out the surprise twist, and readers will love flipping back and forth to see the play between Maxwell’s imagination and real life. Fliess’ crunchy, rhyming text will have readers barreling along.
Energetic automotive fun. (Picture book. 3-5)