cover image Gus’s Garage

Gus’s Garage

Leo Timmers, trans. from the Dutch by James Brown. Gecko Press USA (Lerner, dist.), $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-7765-7092-8

Returning to the vehicular focus of Bang and Who’s Driving? Timmers introduces a string of animals who drive quirky cars and a good-natured pig mechanic who makes them even quirkier. Gus has a one-pump garage in the middle of nowhere and a stash of greasy, worn-out parts. “Whatever will he use them for?” Timmers wonders. A rhino in biker gear drives up on a too-small scooter: “Gus, this seat—I’m overflowing.” Gus always says the same thing: “Let’s see. I have some bits and bobs./ This goes with that. There. Just the job!” A patched-up armchair, an extra rear wheel, and the rhino has a comfy new seat. To warm Gina, a giraffe, in her convertible, Gus combines a wood-burning stove with a stack of metal drums to make a towering heating system. A walrus gets hydration from a rooftop bathtub, and a penguin’s roadster gains a pink refrigerator to keep her cool. Amid all the fun, the emphasis is on imaginative tweaking, reusing things, and cheerful help, selflessly given. Mechanically minded readers will want to do what Gus does; others will wish he lived next door. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)