A canine family takes a road trip across the United States, with the titular song’s cheerful nonsense for a soundtrack.
Menchin slips in occasional lines from “This Land Is Your Land” but takes his tourists from east to west rather than the other way. He opens with a departure from New York City, closes with a lively hoedown beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and in between pauses for glimpses of the White House, Mount Rushmore, farms, highways, mountains and desert. In keeping with Guthrie’s free-association lyrics—“Trees and the houses walk along. / Trees and the houses walk along. / A truck and a car and a garbage can, / take you riding in my car”—the illustrations overlay composite color photos of each sight with raised wheel- or tab-driven cartoon scenes. As the floppy-eared travelers stop to marvel, beneath glued flaps readers can find such random snippets of background as the length of Route 66 or tiny photos of Guthrie and his childhood home.
An affectionate tribute to a great American songsmith as well as an impressionistic snapshot of a land made for you and me, fitted out with appropriately homespun movable parts. (Pop-up/picture book. 5-8)