cover image McToad Mows Tiny Island

McToad Mows Tiny Island

Tom Angleberger, illus. by John Hendrix. Abrams, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1650-8

Angleberger’s (Crankee Doodle) sly charmer is a gift to any reader besotted with engines, motors, and combustible fuel. His toad hero, McToad, has a weekly routine: “Every other day of the week he mows the grass on... Big Island. But Thursday is the day he mows... Tiny Island.” It’s not the mowing that’s so interesting, but the process by which McToad’s bright red riding lawnmower gets to Tiny Island, a sequence that involves a truck, train, helicopter, and more. Hendrix (Shooting at the Stars), who might be a bit of a gearhead himself, lavishes attention on the details—exhaust pipes, crane assemblies, securing straps, and more—and his playful hand-lettered type makes every step of McToad’s journey feel special. After the spate of transportation mania is complete and McToad arrives on Tiny Island, readers will be amused to find that its lawn is roughly the size of the mower itself. It’s an unabashed celebration of the pleasure of using big machines to move things around—just because. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)