Slow and steady wins the race.
Troto, a little green car that bears some resemblance to a tortoise, likes to drive to new places. When he comes upon Cactusville, which looks like an Old West ghost town, he encounters some big trucks that clearly haven’t been told to pick on someone their own size. Troto speaks up for himself against their bullying and challenges them—not to a duel at high noon but to a race through Cactus Canyon. When the race begins, the three big trucks tear out ahead of Troto, but their haste leads to their downfalls, as Big Red pops a tire, Big Blue nearly tips over, and then Big Yellow gets stuck. Troto’s steady driving allows him to triumph, and his success ultimately wins the others’ respect. The closing page delivers the satisfying news that Troto “drove off into the sunset, casting a big shadow,” with accompanying art that places the little green car high on the page to signal his elevated status. Throughout the picture book, such powerful artistic decisions add to the overall achievement of this deceptively simple tale, as Shulevitz proves his status as a contemporary master of the form and delivers a well-paced narrative with readable, engaging art and text.
A winner. (Picture book. 2-6)