Miles to Go

Jamie Harper, Candlewick, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3598-5
A preschooler aptly named Miles loves to ride his jaunty yellow pedal race car to preschool (with his mother close behind), pretending that the journey is full of tests worthy of the autobahn: "Watch out for the four-wheeler!" thinks Miles as he veers away from a baby in a stroller. Harper's (the Baby Bundt books) collages are high performance all the way: a zippy mélange of rubber stamps and other media, they have a cool, three-dimensional feel, conveying the pluck of a wide-eyed but hardcore enthusiast while giving the action scenes an authentic dynamism. When Miles's car "zigs around his sister's trike" and "zags around his brother's truck" in the driveway, readers can almost feel the tilt. And an approaching puddle becomes an opportunity for an impromptu (and very wet) car wash. The text is surprisingly straightforward considering the subject matter, though Harper adds a little drama by saddling Miles with a broken horn and includes subtle nods to the habits of adult drivers ("Red light. C'mon, green," Miles complains, his eyes on the light) that kids and parents will be quick to recognize. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-6469-5
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