Red Wagon (Philomel Books) written and illustrated by Renata Liwska
This sweet picture book by the illustrator of THE QUIET BOOK, a New York Times bestseller, is short enough for the very young, but with enough to ponder that older readers will be charmed, too. We start with a brand-new little red wagon, and Lucy’s mother’s suggestion that she take it to the market, which sounds to Lucy like a chore. Her animal friends are busy flying kites, but are drawn to the red wagon, and chore quickly becomes adventure. While the short text stays true to reality, we see the red wagon become a ship as puddles turn to sea. As we turn pages, the red wagon becomes a covered wagon, part of a circus trailer, a train, a rocket ship, and a construction site truck.
The textured pictures are made from pencil, with a tactile quality that pulls you in, and digitally colored in warm tones. With their button-like eyes and jaunty footsteps, the bears, badgers, bears, raccoons, squirrels, and hedgehogs lean toward being toy-like, like E.H. Shepard’s illustrations for Winnie-the-Pooh. Plump and fuzzy, Lucy and her friends are sure to brighten both story hours and bedtime.