London (the Froggy series) and Parkins (Aunt Nancy and the Bothersome Visitors) leap right into fantasy with this catalogue of best-loved big rigs. "I'm a POWER SHOVEL operator," declares a girl, who takes turns narrating and sitting behind various vehicles with a male counterpart. "I dig up the land./ I operate the gears/ and scoop up the sand." Parkins sets his action at night or against dark-hued cobalt skies, a striking dramatic element not usually found in this genre. A hapless cat and dog contribute visual slapstick (getting stuck in cement pouring from a mixer or nervously peering down from an I-beam suspended from a crane). This duo clearly knows what their audience likes: chunky, rounded shapes (fans of Disney's Cars will recognize the style immediately), simple but accurate detailing, plenty of onomatopoeia, and just enough anthropomorphism to make it clear that these trucks revel in collaborating with humans—in a standout fire truck scene, the vehicle's headlamp eyes squint with a determination that echoes that of the boy and cat in its cab. Ages 3–7. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/12/2010 Release date: 06/01/2010 Genre: Children's
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