Review of A New Car for Pickle

A New Car for Pickle [I Like to Read: Comics]
by Sylvie Kantorovitz; illus. by the author
Primary    Holiday    40 pp.
6/24    9780823456208    $14.99

Pickle (a dog) and a bird friend decide to drive to Clover Farm to get some strawberries and fresh cream, but soon after they set out, the car breaks down. Instead of listening to the bird’s advice (“check the engine”), Pickle exclaims, “This car is junk!” and starts a quest to purchase a new car. This ­beginning reader in comics format has two to six panels and ­multiple lines of dialogue per page, so it’s best for readers who are building independence; short words and ample repetition support practice. The digital illustrations are in restful shades of blue and green that are a fine match for the story’s gentle tone. The use of ­patterns—particularly­ polka dots—adds a sense of whimsy and visual interest as Pickle goes through the trials and tribulations of car shopping. He wants the fast car until he gets pulled over on his test drive; then he knocks over a bin of oranges while trying out an oversized SUV. And let’s not even talk about the price of the fancy car. Eventually, Pickle’s mechanic suggests that perhaps ­filling the old car’s gas tank and getting a tune-up might be a better solution. Amusing and highly entertaining.

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Adrienne L. Pettinelli

Adrienne L. Pettinelli is the director of the Henrietta (NY) Public Library. She has served on several book award committees, including the 2015 Caldecott Committee, and is the author of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library (2008).

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