written by Kristy Dempsey; illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo
(Bloomsbury Kids) 2011
Source: Orange County Public Library
Animals, start your engines! Twelve racers race in rhyme in Mini Racer. Racers are instructed to start your engines, time to race, round the corners, take your place. Each competitor has a unique vehicle that they maneuver down the road course. Animals have to overcome obstacles and make adjustments through the streets to finish the race. The ending features an unexpected winner.
The vocabulary in Mini Racer really stands out. There are action words like veer, rev, careen, and zooming. Nouns like terrain, traction, and obstacles abound. This book is also a great primer for introducing students to the sport of racing. They will want to know what the different colors of the flags stand for and know the meaning of terms like pit stop, fender bender, and accelerate. Humorous and bright illustrations add to the fun. After reading this book, I might have students design their own vehicles and explain why they chose that design. You can also address this while viewing the illustrations of the vehicles in the book.
Other reviews of Mini Racer:
Thing 1 and Thing 2