FICTION

McToad Mows Tiny Island

illus. by John Hendrix. 40p. Abrams. Sept. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419716508.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—McToad, apparently the owner and sole proprietor and employee of McToad Lawn Care, Inc., mows Big Island every day of the week—except Thursdays. That's the day he reserves for Tiny Island. And what a production it is to get his revved-up mower there, which is the whole point of the book, a vehicle lover's treat. In order to carry the mower all the way to the minuscule patch of grass, McToad relies on various modes of transport and other conveyances, including a truck, train, forklift, airplane, helicopter, boat, and crane. Readers will note with a chuckle that once the mower is actually there the job is easily dispatched, since the mower looks to be the same size as the island. Then transporting it back home occurs in reverse, and young readers are offered a nifty exercise in mapping and sequencing along the way. There's little story here, but transportation enthusiasts probably won't mind or care; they'll simply appreciate the round-trip journey and the bright smile McToad wears as he makes it. The pen and ink and acrylic illustrations are boldly colored and full of energy and humor (witness the sly visual references to the author's famed "Origami Yoda" books), and the name of each vehicle or conveyance is rendered in hand lettering in different sizes, fonts, and colors, making each word stand out.
VERDICT A must-have bit of silliness for vehicle mavens everywhere.

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