cover image My Race Car

My Race Car

Michael Rex. Henry Holt & Company, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-6101-7

Rex (The Painting Gorilla) takes readers both behind the scenes and behind the wheel for an exhilarating stock car race. On the dedication page, he shows a boy caught up in the pretend world of his toy race cars and track. From the starting line, when the hero dons his yellow-and-green fire-resistant suit and hops into his matching auto (""I have a race car. I drive it all the time""), to the triumphant finish line, heralded by the waving of the checkered flag and the slurping of a victory milkshake, Rex puts his visual and textual pedal to the metal. The prose is punchy, economic (no more than two lines per page) and liberally sprinkled with fun facts (""My car weighs more than 4,000 pounds. That's as much as ten gorillas!""). The pencil and digitally colored spreads and vignettes call to mind the bold graphics and palette of classic comic books, as well as the kind of dramatic perspectives that race fans might find on ESPN. Readers, start your engines! Ages 3-7. (Apr.)