cover image Motor Miles

Motor Miles

John Burningham. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9064-9

A little autonomy goes a long way in Burningham’s (The Way to the Zoo) story about a “difficult” dog named Miles. Much to the chagrin of Alice Trudge and her son, Norman, their dog Miles “did not come when he was called, did not like going for walks, and did not like his food.” What he does like is riding in the passenger seat of Alice’s car to a local cafe, where he sits at the table as other patrons admire him. Observing that Miles revels in these road trips, neighbor Mr. Huddy builds the dog a sporty red convertible that Miles and Norman use to “go on secret little trips,” with a confident Miles behind the wheel. Miles’s newfound freedom gives him a brighter outlook on life, and when Norman outgrows the roadster Mr. Huddy heads back to the workshop to help the pair take their travels to the next level. Burningham’s matter-of-fact text and blithely inked illustrations embrace the comedy of the premise while capturing the close-knit relationship between boy and dog—especially when they’re tooling across an empty beach at sunrise. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)