Wilson, Sarah & Bernie Karlin. Garage Song.

NY: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

At my advanced age, I don’t often review children’s picture books, but this one deserves to be an exception. My three-year-old grandson found it at the library and, at his insistence, I read it to him until he had it nearly memorized.

It’s about a boy on a bicycle who spends most of a day at an old-fashioned sort of gas station and auto-repair garage, the sort of place where they’ll pump your gas, fix your flat, and give you directions. The three-man crew shows up early and opens up for business, with a fourth guy coming in later and staying late. And then the customers begin to arrive, each with their own problems. Then there’s a lunch break, with the boy and the garage guys lounging out back by the soft drink machine. Then the day proceeds until sundown, when the boy peddles home again, leaving the last crew member alone and with his feet up in the lighted office.

That’s the “plot,” with a short rhyming text on each page to describe what’s going on. But the real delight is Karlin’s heavily detailed artwork of drivers in need (and sometimes in argument), dented cars, tow trucks, dogs in pickup beds, families in RVs, and all the rest of a street corner’s daily panorama. My grandson takes an hour to get through this book now, telling me exactly what all is going on and who’s doing what. Of course, he’s already fascinated by cars and trucks (and every other sort of vehicle, from fire engines to zambonis), but this book should be a winner for most small children. Highly recommended.

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Published in: on 28 September 2013 at 4:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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