Rollin' On: Red Wagon by Renata Liwska
LUCY HAD A BRAND-NEW LITTLE RED WAGON.SHE WANTED TO PLAY WITH IT.
SHE ASKED HER HER MOTHER.
"SURE, YOU CAN USE YOUR WAGON TO GO TO THE MARKET."
THAT SOUNDED LIKE A CHORE. LUCY DIDN'T WANT TO DO CHORES.
Trust a grownup to see a new toy, with all its possibilities glowing like an aura around it, as a means to carry out a daily job. But Lucy sets out dutifully, pulling her wagon with one hand, clutching the list. Along the way she meets some friends--Rabbit, Raccoon, Rabbit--who climb in for a ride up the hill, Then just as she's ready to have a carefree ride down, it starts to rain.
The red wagons careens a bit down the hill to the open-air market, and Lucy obediently loads it up with vegetables (oh, joy!) and trudges back toward home, the return trip uneventful except for a crash into a rock on the other side of the hill on the way back.
From Liwska's spare text, this dutiful milk run seems not to be much fun at all. But in the imagination of the red wagon's crew, it's a pirate voyage over raging seas, a railroad train, a rocket ship, a piece of heavy construction equipment, and a platform for a veggie-juggling trapeze flier to stack her produce for her.
After all those fantastic adventures, it's no wonder that when Mom sets her free to play, Lucy's little red wagon becomes a snug place to catch a well-deserved nap.
Renata Liwska is the noted illustrator of the best-selling The Quiet Book and Deborah Underwood's new sequel The Loud Book! has a clever exposition in her first solo effort, an interesting juxtaposition of matter-of-fact text and the vividly imagined adventures, the ability of an imaginative youngster to make a routine trudge into a fantastic voyage. For another recent tale of what the mind can make of the most mundane, see Antoinette Portis' Not a BoxChildren's Basic Concepts Books)
Sometimes a wagon is just a wagon. And sometimes,thankfully, it's not!