cover image Race Car Count

Race Car Count

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illus. by Michael Slack. Holt/Ottaviano, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-009-3

Ten brightly colored race cars—Formula One racers, a windup toy lookalike, even a souped-up minivan—vie for first place on their way to the finish line. Neither Dotlich (All Aboard!) nor Slack (Elecopter) is a stranger to vehicle-themed stories, and the book’s bouncy rhymes and Matchbox-worthy vehicles (spoilers and bulging hot-red engines abound) combine to create a lively race with some tense back-and-forth moments (“Race car 4, all shiny red,/ rumbles, grumbles, pulls ahead”). Sturdy paper stock with rounded corners helps tailor the book to a younger crowd and should hold up to re-readings hinted at by the ending, which sets up a rematch: “All lined up, 10 in a row.../ red light, yellow light, green light... go!” Ages 2–5. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Oct.)