Small Walt

illus. by Marc Rosenthal. 40p. S. & S. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481448451.
PreS-Gr 2— The grit of the Little Engine that Could, the nostalgic illustrations of Katy and the Big Snow , and a touch of modernity from an accomplished author and illustrator, combine to become Small Walt . Walt is the smallest city plow on the lot. In the middle of a snowstorm, workers gear up to clear the streets, but none are willing to choose Walt to get the job done. That is, until Gus comes along. After checking Walt's components, he determines that they are ready, and off they go. Walt's route is treacherous, but he and Gus handle it with finesse. They never give up, even when faced with daunting tasks. The timeless messages that little people can do big things, one should never give up, and teamwork works best are pervasive throughout. Walt encourages himself with positive rhyming phrases such as "My name is Walt./I plow and I salt./I clear the snow/so the cars can go." Young listeners will eagerly chime in to recite parts of this repetitive phrase, making this perfect as a read-aloud. The digitally colored artwork is delightfully old-fashioned. The snow is bright against the illustrations created mostly in shades of red, yellow, blue, and green, and outlined black. The accessible text and cozy pictures mesh seamlessly to become a new version of a familiar tale.
VERDICT A warm and fuzzy dose of positive thinking perfect for seasonal storytimes and snow days.

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