That's How!

PreS-Gr 1—In this deceptively simple picture book, a boy entertains his friend with cleverly imagined ideas about how a number of vehicles work. When she asks about a truck, he responds, "Hmmm...let me think." A flip of the page shows a yellow lion pedaling a bicyclelike chain and gears inside a black truck. The scene takes place in a huge word bubble over the boy's head, along with the words, "That's how!" The girl responds, "Wow!" And that is pretty much the pattern of the entire book. The freighter is run by an octopus winding a whale's tale, the steamroller by a bird tickling two bears, and so forth, until the three final spreads. When the girl asks how a bicycle works, the boy thinks, and, in a reversal of roles, she says, "I know!" and she rides off on the bike: "That's how!" The mixed-media digital illustrations are saturated full-bleed spreads, the word bubbles lend a comic-strip feel, and the children's clothes change color to match each machine. Boy, girl, animals, and vehicles are all done in bold colors and have a cartoonish, childlike sensibility. The large trim size, popular topic, and brightly colored artwork will work well in storytimes, where children will happily chime in for the refrain with each page turn. A surefire hit to fill the constant demand for vehicle books.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
"How does a truck work?" To each of a girl's seven questions, a boy replies, "That's how!"; a corresponding illustration reveals his animal-centric fantasy explanation (e.g., a lion sits underneath the driver's seat and pedals). Still, the final word is hers. This is great stuff: funny, unpredictable, and imagination-spurring, with chunky, boldly colored art worthy of the boy's big ideas.

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