Little Engineer

Kim Behm, Author, Noah Lukas, Author, Kim Behm, Illustrator Random House Books for Young Readers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-87464-5
Reading is anything but a quiet activity with a volume from the My Little Driver series in hand. Tiny batteries hidden in each book's plastic frame power a pantheon of loud, digitally recorded sounds relating to the story line. The reader's job is to press the picture-coded sound button-located in a dashboard of sorts, at the bottom of the plastic frame-when the matching picture shows up in the text. In Little Sailor, a submarine voyage is a leisurely lesson in underwater life, with each realistically painted sea creature clearly labeled. Nine buttons activate the sound effects, among them a propeller ""pouring on power""; an exterior microphone (""Let's go find the whale!""); the drone of a foghorn. In Little Pilot, a trip over the Grand Canyon and sky-jumping are enhanced with such sounds as radio contact with the tower and the vroom of takeoff and landing. It's a whistle-stop train ride in Little Engineer: bells clang, brakes slam and engines roar. In Little Driver, the reader steers a car out of town for a picnic, on the way listening to the radio, honking the horn, hearing the swoosh of the windshield wipers and the click of turn signals, etc. High-tech gimmick, or verisimilitude? Maybe both, but who cares?-it's fun. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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