cover image Vroom!


Barbara McClintock. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62672-217-0

In this high-octane adventure, the hero does just as she pleases and makes it back in time for bed. One evening, Annie fits her helmet over her mass of red curls with a big smile on her face, gets into her race car—a sleek, torpedo-shaped unit that sits low to the ground—and rockets right out of her open bedroom window, the car leaving a stream of exhaust over the backyard. “It was a fine evening for a drive,” the narrator continues, with delicious understatement, as Annie and her car blast across an impossibly expansive vista of plowed fields, and great mountains loom on the horizon. She hurtles on through magnificent stretches of geography—scaling peaks, sailing through red rock formations, zooming through forests and along city streets—before overtaking a surprised field of competitors on a race course and heading home. McClintock’s crisp, clean landscape spreads have the precision of architectural drawings, and her economically told story offers all the greatest charms of adventure: being on one’s own, seeing new places, and going really, really fast. It’s a richly gratifying fantasy. Ages 4–7. [em](July) [/em]