Friday, March 25, 2016

Dixie O'Day In the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy

The possible ingredients for a winning story are fairly easy to identify:

1.  The story makes you feel something - this little gem made me smile and cheer
2.  The story might contain echoes of other stories - with this book you will think of the Aesop story of the Hare and the Tortoise
3.  Action can help a story move along so the reader keeps turning the pages in order to discover the answer to an important question or two such as how will this all turn out?

In the fast Lane is the first in a series of three books about Dixie O'Day.  Every detail in this little book is a delight.  The patterned end papers, The chapter heading pages. The interview which opens the story which gives the reader insights into our story hero Dixie. The character introduction pages and most of all the map. I adore books with maps!

Dixie loves his old car.  His best friend Percy enjoys spending a day with Dixie driving in the country and perhaps enjoying a picnic. The car often breaks down but help is usually close by.  Dixie has an annoying neighbour called Lou Ella.  "Lou Ella bought a new car every year, always an expensive one.  It annoyed Dixie a lot when she drove past his house and tooted her horn."  One day our intrepid heroes see a sign announcing a car race from Didsworth to Dodsworth.  Dixie decides to enter the race with Percy as his co-river (he can't drive but this doesn't matter).  Everything goes wrong on the day of the race.  Meanwhile Lou Ella is also determined to win (at all costs).

The Dixie O'Day series is  little set of easy and colourful books from Clara Vulliamy.  Take a look at my review of Mango and Bambang which are  also illustrated by Clara who is the daughter of Shirley Hughes!  You might like to read this Library Mice review.   Here you can see some of the illustrations from this book.

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