Saturday, November 19, 2016
Motor Miles, written and illustrated by John Burningham. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2016. $23.00 ages 3 and up
Miles is new to the Trudge family. It wasn't until Norman and his mother adopted him that they learned he could be unyielding. He had some dislikes:
"Miles did not come when he was called,
did not like going for walks,
and did not like his food ...
or the rain.
He barked too much ...
and he didn't like other dogs."
He did, however, love car rides. So, Mr. Huddy who lived next door, decided to build a car just for Miles. Once finished, Miles needed driving lessons. He took to his new skill with joyous abandon. Norman was pretty keen, too. He liked being driven to school by Miles, going on trips to the sea, and all manner of more adventure. Satisfied with his life, Miles began to change ... he was much easier to manage. Soon, Norman was too big to accompany Miles. The car was put away.
And now that the car is no longer viable, what does Mr. Huddy has up his sleeve?
John Burningham is a storytelling genius. His sober narration of the story's facts makes Miles a completely believable character and his motoring skills most enjoyable. As he has done so often, Mr. Burningham uses watercolor, ink and pastel to give his story life and character. Miles is a formidable and lovable friend to Norman and his mother.