Road Trip!: A Whiskers ­Hollow Adventure

Candlewick. Feb. 2021. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536209471.
Gr 1-2–After a fender bender involving an acorn and his beloved old truck, Bear goes in search of a new headlight. He stops along the way to pick up his friends: snack-obsessed Rabbit, nervous Mouse, and junk-loving Donkey, who leads the way to Elephant’s Old Junk Tree, where they hope to find a replacement light. The miniature friends, who vary in size only slightly, zoom around tree branches, thorny tunnels, and rickety bridges made of twigs. The delightfully detailed pen, ink and gouache illustrations depict the inside of each animal’s elaborate tree trunk home, rendered in muted earth tones. Light brings his gift for intricate drawings to this diminutive forest setting, which will delight young readers who take pleasure in examining each spread. The story, while simple, will appeal to young readers who will enjoy getting transported to a friendly miniature community reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s animal worlds. With cadence, repetition, and slightly elevated language, this has all the trappings of a beginning reader, without the chapter breakdowns. Intricate maps detailing the Whisker’s Hollow Community on the endpapers suggest more stories from this charming animal village are to come.
VERDICT A near-perfect story that invites children to look at the pages and make connections.

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