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Saturday, August 14, 2010

TOOT TOOT ZOOM! Written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Candlewick, Random House. 2009. $18.00 ages 3 and up

"POOR PIERRE! He lived all alone at the foot of a sky-high mountain, and ah, his heart, how it longed for a friend. "Perhaps," said Pierre, "I could find a friend on the other side of the mountain."

He hops into his little red car. While it has lots of power, there are many zigzags in the road to the top of the mountain. With every turn, he honksd his horn and heads further afield in search of great happiness. Rounding a corner with his horn blasting, he comes face to frightened face with a goat. Well, the goat likes the look of the car and is willing to give aid in finding a friend. Off they go!

The same scenario plays itself out...with a sheep, and a bear! They take turns tooting the horn, and seem pleased to be sharing each other's company. As would happen, they run into difficulty when they blow a tire. With a little help from his passengers, Pierre gets his car to the mountain, on the way to the other side where he is sure to find a friend. Whee! Down they go!

The fact that they have no brakes is met with much ballyhooing. A crash leaves the little red car in pieces, but its occupants safe and in one piece. Come to discover there is no one living on this side of the mountain. With no car, Pierre decides to stay put. And guess what, so do all his 'friends'!

What a great story about finding friends when you least expect it! It would be a wonderful readaloud on the first day of school as teachers work to build community and caring in their classroom.

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