cover image Honk! Splat! Vroom!

Honk! Splat! Vroom!

Barry Gott. Carolrhoda, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5124-4140-6

In his first solo outing, illustrator Gott (the Dino-Sports series ) tracks the twists and turns of a race among five gray mice in brightly colored racecars. At the signal (“Go!”), a poorly timed “Ah-choo!” leaves the mouse in the blue car asking, “Vroom?” as the others speed ahead. They fly around a curve, landing—“Splat!”—in a mud puddle just in time for the sneezing racer to catch up and use their helmets like stepping stones (“Boink! Boink! Boink! Boink!”). With bold digital illustrations that impressively approximate watercolors and the repeated use of a dozen or so words (most of which are sound effects), Gott energetically captures the speed, motion, and emotion of the race. The sparse narration encourages readers to discuss what’s happening on each page, and although the mice nearly fall prey to a cat, a friendly goose (whose “honk” is far louder than those of the cars) helps save the day and contributes to a satisfying team finish. Everyone (except the cat) wins in this light, funny tale. Ages 3–6. Agent: Ronnie Ann Herman, Herman Agency. (Feb.)