Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick, pictures by Marc Rosenthal

Published by Simon and Schuster

Summary:  When a blizzard hits town, most of the snowplow drivers go for the big, tough plows.  But Gus agrees to drive Walt, the smallest one in the fleet, and Walt is determined not to let him down.  They plug along through town, and Walt keeps himself going with rhymes such as, “My name is Walt. I plow and I salt. I clear the snow so the cars can go!”  Finally, they reach a high hill with the biggest drifts Gus has ever seen.  “I don’t think we’re up to this,” he says, but Walt has different ideas.  With a bit of slipping and sliding, they make it to the top, then back down again, with mega snowplow Big Buck following close behind.  At dawn, they head back to the parking lot, and even Big Buck has grudging words of admiration for Walt.  As for Gus, he takes off his blue scarf and ties it around Walt’s rearview mirror, cementing their friendship for snowstorms yet to come.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A cross between Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little Engine That Could, this is a charming story of persistence and optimism with pleasantly retro illustrations.  A perfect read-aloud for the coming winter months.

Cons:  For the purpose of story hours and kids chanting along with a repeated refrain, Walt should have made up one rhyme and stuck with it.  Instead, he kept changing it.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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