Four vehicle-shaped board books packaged together with three road scenes invite young transportation enthusiasts to play.
A police car, a taxi, a fire engine, and a recycling truck fit together like a simple puzzle in a cutout nestled in the bigger book. When the books are removed, the cutout is just a plain black space in the middle of the right-hand page. Pages that frame the cutout open to create three different wordless road scenes decorated with stylized buildings, animals, and more vehicles. Even though the book-vehicles don’t have moving wheels (just pictures of wheels), toddlers might be more interested in them as toys than books. Each little book has an introductory sentence (“Hurry! The recycling truck is almost here!”) followed by labels (“glass”; “paper”; “bin”) near the relevant objects in the illustrations. Some of the vocabulary is rather abstract for toddlers. For example, in the taxi book, one of the labels is “checkers.” The front of each vehicle makes a convenient handhold for toddlers just learning to turn pages. However, the plastic cover that holds the small book-vehicles in place doesn’t fit easily into the cutout and will be quickly lost, making this package a shelving nightmare. The cartoon people shown driving the taxi, taking out the recycling, calling on a police radio, rescuing a cat, etc., are various shades of brown but no distinct ethnicity.
An original idea that’s not quite road ready. (Novelty board book. 2-4)