"From Furryville to Featherport a thousand miles away, This pack of eager animals will get there in one day. On the ground or in the air, floating or submersed, There's just one rule: to win this race you have to get there FIRST!" And they're off - Barron Billy Blackstripes, Stephanie Skedaddle, Lord and Lady Reynard, Reverend Reginald Spindly... this picture book is packed with detail, lyrical writing, and an important lesson!
I'll be honest: I wasn't sure what I would think of The Silver Serpent Cup (a Kane Miller book written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Ed Eaves) when I first heard about it. As a parent to two toddler boys, I've surpassed my quota for weird vehicles. But I was pleasantly surprised by this book and would heartily recommend it to parents of young kids.
For one thing, I love that this race covers all types of vehicles - land, water, and air. There's a little something for everyone. And with illustrations of the racers drawn, drafting style, on the inside pages at the front and back of the book, little readers can inspect the racers and their vehicles and choose different animals to cheer on. Those illustrations (shown later in this post) also naturally inspire kids to make their own vehicle.
With this variety comes a fun level of detail in the story and illustrations. The wording of the book is lyrical, so you want to keep reading - but when you go back to look at the illustrations more in detail, there's so much to notice about what's happening with all the animals in this race. I love books with detail like this, because they spark great conversations and continuing imagination with my boys.
The storyline also has an interesting plot twist at the end - one that, once you get there, you realize has been growing subtly through the whole story, but still doesn't knock you over the head when you get there. I won't give away spoilers here, but if you'd like to know how it ends before buying the book for your readers, feel free to send me a message, and I'll fill you in!
Hi there! I'm Christine - Usborne Books & More independent consultant, kids' book fan, English teacher, mom of two boys.