Car Guy, Too!: Hansel and Diesel
For the legions of young motorheads out there (see my previous post on Walter Wick's Can You See What I See? Trucks and Cars) David Gordon has another picture book that's sure to start their motors runnin'.
Hansel and Diesel is a clever send up of the Hansel and Gretel story which will keep giggle boxes and gear boxes turning. In this story brother and sister pickups Hansel and Diesel and their loving flatbed parental units are cold and low on fuel in their rundown little garage on the edge of a deep, dark junkyard. Hoping to find a fix for the fuel deficit, little Hansel and Diesel trek through falling snow through a somber junkyard scene, where stacks of tossed tires look like snow-draped evergreens, with little Hans prudently leaving a trail of bolts to guide their return.
Suddenly the trucksome two spot an oasis of light ahead, a veritable palace of petroleum, a glittering garage, a towering truck stop. But when they begin hastily filling their little fuel tanks, Hansel and Diesel hear a venomous voice saying,
Guzzle, guzzle, drip and drool,
Who is drinking all my fuel?
Alas, it is the Wicked Winch, mistress of this motor pool, who lures them inside with promises of warm oil and lofty lifts on which to snooze. As the two fall into a deep dreams of petrol and diesel, they are awakened by the scream of metallic shredders which aim to reduce them to scrap metal. Hansel and Diesel tear out of the garage in a turbo-tempest of torque, but as the long arm of the Wicked Winch's cable almost ensnares them, their powerful parents zoom up and give the Winch a taste of her own crushers. The reassembled family recycle the Winch's garage into a fine fueling station where they live happily ever after.
Having worked on the production of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., and that icon of silly spoofery, Sponge Bob Squarepants, David Gordon has the right stuff to turn his artistic talents to "mechanics illustrated," as his previous titles, The Ugly Truckling and The Three Little Rigs surely show. Young NASCAR fans and gearheads in general will love the subject matter, and devotees of the fractured fairy tale will also want to look under the hood, er, covers of this one. Maybe these books won't win a warehouse of awards, but they do prove that an engine rebuild on an old fairy tale chassis is always worth a test drive!