As always, Jim McMullan’s illustrations are a splendid sight. His hefty train and sporty car—with their expressive cartoon eyes and wide grins—exude tons of personality and infectious energy. Changing landscapes and panoramic views of the vehicles in action add to the thrill of witnessing a long-distance race. Kate McMullan’s snappy, swaggering text includes plenty of sound effects (“Chooka chooka chooka chooka”) and is great fun to read out loud. There’s no way you can read this book without talking gruff-and-tough like a certain freight train!


In it for the long haul? Need more suggestions for your motor-loving youngster? My personal favorites include the McMullans’ earlier book, I Stink! (featuring a tough-talking garbage truck). Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon, is another wonderful tale about trains on a journey. And then of course, there’s the classic Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton.


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Do you have other recommendations for kids who love machines on wheels? Do share!

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