Going Places

Peter H. Reynolds and Paul A. Reynolds, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. S&S/Atheneum, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-6608-1
Although it has the whiff of an inspirational speech, this tale by the Reynolds brothers has enough entertainment value to avoid feeling inspid. Rafael is a dedicated instruction-follower, while his neighbor Maya is the dreamy sort: "She was so intent on watching the bird in front of her, and quickly sketching it, that she didn't even notice Rafael." When their teacher gives the class identical "Going Places" go-cart kits for an upcoming contest, Rafael realizes that collaborating with Maya, who envisions a flying machine instead of a car, might help him to victory. Sure enough, they dominate the contest. While the message about outside-the-box thinking is impossible to miss, the book is also an observation about how opposite temperaments can lead to successful collaborations. Still, Maya is a strong figure; Rafael's view of her over the fence as she experiments with a set of geared wings and pedals is an encouraging vision of the "maker" child who prefers crafting things herself to watching them on a screen. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/23/2013
Release date: 03/18/2014
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