cover image On the Go Awesome

On the Go Awesome

Lisl H. Detlefsen, illus. by Robert Neubecker. Knopf, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-984852-34-2

Detlefsen (Catkwondo) and Neubecker (Little Smokey) fuel their transportation picture book by going full throttle on that ultimate kid fantasy: “What if I were behind the wheel?” Standing on a subway platform, a child acknowledges that watching people is “fairly fascinating” and that riding the train is “definitely fascinating.” But “operating the subway far below the bustle of the big city”? “Stand clear for awesome!” More good-better-best vignettes follow, each culminating in an appropriately over-the-top superlative: captaining an ocean liner is “Aye Aye Awesome!” while driving a monster truck is “Crushingly Awesome!” But lest readers come away thinking dreamy life is the ne plus ultra, the book ends with the kid realizing that being a passenger on a family cross-country camper trip is pretty great, too. The text’s playful formula and outdoor-voice decibel level makes it a readaloud natural, but it’s Neubecker’s gift for portraying incredibly detailed situations, chock-full of visual humor, that will render this book awesome for vehicle enthusiasts. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Nov.) [/em]