Movin' On: Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli
It's a delightful day in the park, and daughter, done with the swings, is looking for another thrill. Mom is busy with the baby, so Dad offers his little girl a chance to play horsey on his back. She climbs aboard eagerly, grabbing Dad's necktie for reins, and gives Dad a goose with her heels, as a bunny in the bushes looks on with alarm.
In her imagination, Dad morphs into a giant bunny and accelerates into a brisk hop, with the girl still holding onto that purple, polka-dot tie. Taking her cues from the improbable landscape, the girl has the big bunny transform into a galloping ostrich, then a charging cheetah and a soaring eagle. always urged on by the daring daughter.
Plunging into the sea, the eagle becomes a leaping dolphin, and turns finally into a speedily swimming sea turtle. BLUB! BLUB!
But then before this joyrider has had enough, the turtle crawls out onto the shore, exhausted.
Dad, is seems, is done. Spread-eagled on the grass, a tired-out Dad has had enough of this game, but, his necktie now rumpled from their adventure, he gets a big hug from his daughter.
With minimal text, Leslie Petricelli's new Faster! Faster! (Candlewick Press, 2012) picks right up on the premise of her earlier hit, Higher! Higher!, letting her strong black-line and full-bleed color extend the text with imagination and great humor. Each picture hints at the animal to be our little rider's next mount--the cheetah's tail, drifting feathers from the eagle--giving potential for predicting skills to the preschool reader, and the recurring use of Dad's purple tie around the neck of each of the animals ties the whole fantasy together, as, on the final page, Dad strategically and symbolically removes his tie, signalling that he's no longer providing a fantastical ride. A perfect little storytime or lap-sitting book for tots and preschoolers, who will quickly be able to "read" this book on their own.
"An absolute delight!" says School Library Journal. Right!