In this imaginative, inviting bedtime book, lyrical verse tells of various vehicles winding down for the night and "rolling off to bed." On alternate spreads, luminous paintings depict a little boy playing with toy engines in his bedroom as well as life-sized engines in the outside world. The soothing text and large, up-close pictures of trucks, planes, and fire engines, among others, will make this a favorite bedtime story of all toddlers and preschoolers who are fascinated with things that go.
Playing to kids' perennial fascination with vehicles, this bedtime book-Mortensen's debut-uses truncated rhyming verse to describe how a train, 18-wheel truck, fire engine, etc., slow down at the end of the day: "Jumbo jet plane/ cleared to land./ Downward, roaring/ turbofan./ Wheels on runway in a rush./ Grinding. Stopping. Resting./ Hush." The level of detail will suit preschoolers, as will the rhythms, but what will almost certainly command the audience's attention is Iwai's (Snuggle Mountain) visual interpretation. Her velvety acrylics create a modest but effective story line, about a boy giving his toys a final spin before going to bed. Pictures of the boy alternate with images of the real-life vehicles. Readers meet the boy while he is busy with his toy trains; the next spread shows a sleek passenger train speeding across a bridge. The two strands meet in a fitting conclusion. A mother tucks the boy in bed and darkens his room ("Turn off motor,/ switch off light") as the text invites the "tired engine" to say good night. This sweet book will help motor-happy readers to put their own engines in idle. Ages 2-6. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.