cover image Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure

Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure

Steve Light. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0947-1

Light (Black Bird Yellow Sun) does some whimsical world-building in welcoming readers to Whiskers Hollow, where the animals are avid motorists and the roadways are huge tree branches. Scale is comically skewed: Bear, the protagonist, front-ends his pink pickup truck into a ginormous acorn, thus necessitating a road trip to find a replacement headlight. Along for the ride are snack-obsessed Rabbit and anxious Mouse, and junk connoisseur Donkey leads the caravan to Elephant’s Old Junk Tree. In Light’s beautifully wielded pen, ink, and gouache, the vehicles defy gravity as they zoom along the route, which includes a massively gnarled tree trunk and a tunnel of thorns straight out of a Dürer woodcut. A headlight is eventually obtained, but not before the friends goof around on a massive junk pile (another image that nods to the textures of classical printmaking), do some pratfalls into a mud puddle, and receive an impromptu shower courtesy of Elephant’s trunk. Along the way, the amiable animals learn what human motorists already know: the bonding shenanigans of a road trip are really the whole point. Ages 2–5. [em](Feb.) [/em]