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Tuesday, August 18
Digby O'Day in the Fast Lane
Written by Shirley Hughes, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
My rating: ★★★
Date of publication: August 26, 2014
Age: Grades K - 3
Themes: cars, dogs, races, perseverance
Digby O'Day and Percy are best friends and they've just entered an All-Day Race! Digby is sure he can win, especially with Percy as his co-driver. But when the race starts and Digby and Percy are quickly left in the dust, it seems like they don't stand a chance. They meet peril after peril and worst of all, Digby’s archenemy, Lou Ella, will stop at nothing to win the race. Who will come out ahead?
In a rather charming (read: thoroughly British) way, this book is old-fashioned. The monochromatic color scheme of the hand-drawn illustrations is reminescent of Frog & Toad and Little Bear. The characters and story are classic in their own way, as well; not many kids may be familiar with the lure of a relaxing day drive in the country. They also may not be as familiar with British terminology, such as "petrol station." So it's charming...but it's not necessarily going to sweep young kids off their feet.
The typography and layout may be a tad confusing, as well. There's a cursive font used throughout the "extras" that's hard for me to read, let alone beginning readers. The extras (an interview with Digby, quizzes, car information) themselves are a tad distracting and superfluous. The vocabulary, like I said before, is thoroughly British, but simple enough for those just starting chapter books.
So, it's cute, really. Just cute, though. Not groundbreaking in any fashion, nor massively appealing to a wide range of kids. Some make like it, though. Especially those who are fans of the classics.
Find it at your library or on Amazon