I'm Fast!

Overview

Can a train pullin’ half a mile of heavy-duty freight cars make it to Chicago ahead of a speedy little race car?
Through the desert . . .
Through the mountains . . .
Through a blizzard . . .

Vvvrrrrrrrrrrrrrrum!

Chooka Chooka Chooka Chooka

The race is on!

...
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Overview

Can a train pullin’ half a mile of heavy-duty freight cars make it to Chicago ahead of a speedy little race car?
Through the desert . . .
Through the mountains . . .
Through a blizzard . . .

Vvvrrrrrrrrrrrrrrum!

Chooka Chooka Chooka Chooka

The race is on!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The husband-and-wife team behind I Stink! and I’m Big! return to their vehicular roots as Red, a sports car, challenges a blue train to a race to Chicago. Loaded up with gravel, coils of steel, ice cream bars, and pizza fixings, the train speeds along, exuding cockiness. Reading like a blues refrain, the text chugs along with the gestural friends: “Wheels on the rails, all night long,/ Racin’ and a-rumblin’ the freight train song—/ Chooka chooka chooka chooka.” It’s a rip-roaring ride for the automotive obsessed. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Jan.)
The Horn Book
Praise for I’M BIG!: “Looking big is a strategy used often in the wild, and readers will be happy to see it work for this essentially gentle giant, from whom the fanged, clawed, spiked, yet puny bullies turn tail.”
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
From the duo that gave us I Stink (2002) and I'm Big (2010) comes this rhythmic challenge between a mighty train engine and a sporty red car. Red dares the engine to a race from Sacramento to Chicago and the grinning competitors line up at the starting line. But first the engine moves about the yard to secure his load of flatcars, gondolas, tank cars, gravel bins and refrigerator cars. Then it is ready, set and they're off. Full speed ahead the train charges through a tunnel while the little red car must navigate the twists and turns of the mountain road. Snow is no problem for the train to plow through as he eats up the track with a chooka chooka chooka and the car struggles to keep up with a vrrum-rum. The car is no match for the super-fast engine that easily slides into Chicago the winner. In a chivalrous act he offers Red Car a ride back home on his special auto-hauling car. For those who fondly remember Donald Crew's classic Fright Train (Greenwillow, 1978) this will make a perfect pairing. The energetic rhythms of the friendly competition will readily draw readers in with onomatopoetic words dropped in for added emphasis and fun. The liveliness of the illustrations capture the zip and zing of the text and readers will be cheering for their favorite right to the end. When they get to the end they will want to read it again and again. Another successful collaboration. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
Kirkus Reviews
The usually dynamic McMullan duo (I Stink!, 2002) stalls with their sixth title, which stars an uber-confident train that accepts a challenge to race an equally self-assured sports car. Before the trek from Sacramento to Chicago can begin, the freight is loaded with a boisterous call-and-response rhythm: "LUMBER? FLATCAR! YARD CREW? Hop to! / BRICKS? GONDOLA! STEEL? COIL CAR! GAS? TANK CAR! // GRAVEL BIN? Open the HATCH! HOPPER? Catch!" Then they are off: the car vrooming and the train hurtling with a "Chooka chooka chooka chooka." The freight train impresses as it tunnels through rock, plows through snow and zooms past traffic, all the while pulling cars full of everything from frozen treats to pizza ingredients. The illustrations have a pleasingly retro touch. The sleek, red car contrasts nicely with the hulking, bright-blue mass of the freight engine as they traverse full-bleed spreads drenched in saturated colors of the landscape. Words flash in various bright hues accenting the many sound effects that comprise most of the frenetic text. This textual energy works well from a compositional standpoint, but it does pose difficulties for reading aloud. This, combined with a certain sense of overfamiliarity, keeps the book from rising to the top. Preschoolers will most likely warm to the good-natured competition between car and train, and parents and teachers will appreciate the friendly conclusion. But for those looking for a standout title in the multitude of things-that-go stories, there is little here that would warrant a repeat journey. (Picture book. 3-5)
The Horn Book
Praise for I’M BIG!: “Looking big is a strategy used often in the wild, and readers will be happy to see it work for this essentially gentle giant, from whom the fanged, clawed, spiked, yet puny bullies turn tail.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061920851
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 198,135
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate McMullan is the author of the easy-to-read books featuring Fluffy, the Classroom Guinea Pig, and the middle-grade series Dragon Slayers’ Academy. She is also the author of the 2010 Geisel Honor Book Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day.

Jim McMullan is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and poster designer whose work can be seen in The Theater Posters Of James Mcmullan.

Kate and Jim McMullan have collaborated on many popular picture books, including I’m Big!; I’m Bad!; I’m Dirty, a Child Magazine Best Book; I’m Mighty!; and I Stink!, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book. The McMullans live in Sag Harbor, New York.

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