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Red Wagon

( 3 )

Overview

All Lucy wants to do is play with her brand-new, bright red wagon. But her mother has other plans for her-and the wagon. Lucy must go to the market and buy vegetables for dinner. Lucy doesn't want to do chores! But she sets off for the market nonetheless, hauling her red wagon with her. Before long, her ordinary trip becomes a high-seas adventure, a ride through outer space, and a day at the circus. As long as she has her red wagon, not even chores can get in the way of Lucy's ...

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Overview

All Lucy wants to do is play with her brand-new, bright red wagon. But her mother has other plans for her-and the wagon. Lucy must go to the market and buy vegetables for dinner. Lucy doesn't want to do chores! But she sets off for the market nonetheless, hauling her red wagon with her. Before long, her ordinary trip becomes a high-seas adventure, a ride through outer space, and a day at the circus. As long as she has her red wagon, not even chores can get in the way of Lucy's fun.

New York Times bestseller Renata Liwska's most vibrant art ever takes center stage in this imaginative book for the youngest of readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lucy, a fox cub with a small pink hair ribbon, wants to play with her new red wagon, but her mother asks her to go to the market: "That sounded like a chore. Lucy didn't want to do chores." In the company of her animal friends, though, the errand becomes a string of adventures. With soft colors, rounded forms, and just the right amount of furry cuddliness, Liwska's (The Quiet Book) paintings portray their encounter with a rainstorm (the wagon becomes a boat atop a huge wave); their visit to the market (a circus, with Lucy tossing fruit to a bear on a trapeze); and the wagon's collision with a rock (a space voyage, with wagon as spaceship and vegetables as celestial objects). The contrast between the matter-of-fact text and whimsical interpretations gives the book its momentum; the last line—"Finally, Lucy was free to play with her wagon"—accompanies a portrait of Lucy asleep inside. Liwska's story stays true to the way children see the world, gives the gentlest of pushes toward cooperation, and offers respite from suburban anxiety and busyness. Ages 3–5. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Lucy, a furry young fox, wants to play with her new red wagon, but her mother sends her to the market. Not too happy, Lucy pulls her wagon up the hill. It has become heavy, as furry friends climb aboard. As Lucy pushes the wagon down the hill, it starts to rain. When the rain stops, she continues on her way. While the text is sparse and simple, the wagon full of friends has become, in the illustrations, a ship in the storm and then a covered wagon from the Old West. As Lucy arrives at the market and loads the items from her mother's list into the wagon, a sort of fair or circus surrounds them all. On the way back the wagon becomes a train; then it flies like a rocket. All is in order, however, when Lucy returns home, to her mother's satisfaction. There's a softness to the double-page, naturalistic, digitally colored pencil illustrations of this imaginative adventure. Young, anthropomorphic forest creatures engage in games like kite flying, swinging from tree branches, and picnicking. The red wagon takes on identities to fit each event. The visuals tell a much more elaborate story than the text. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A fluffy bipedal fox has a new red wagon and, as far as she's concerned, it's playtime right now. But Mom has a chore for her first. Lucy needs to go to the market. She's not enthused, but she does head off, shopping list in her paw, and takes along her imagination. Hedgehog, Rabbit, Raccoon, and others join her in fanciful play as the wagon becomes a boat, covered wagon, truck, or train while they make their way down the road. Lucy's Mom is pleased when she returns, task finished, and now it's time to play. Except, all that "work" actually means that the little fox is now ready for a nap. The illustrations are done with pencil and are colored digitally. The small childlike animals are fluffy, soft, and friendly looking. Although the story moves between fantasy and reality without much explanation, overall it offers an appealing—if not outstanding—slice-of-life story.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

A mundane task fills with delicious thrills. Lucy asks permission to play with her new red wagon, so mom agreeably sends her to market with it—but, hmm, "That sounded like a chore. Lucy didn't want to do chores." Never fear; this journey is anything but dull. Adroitly pairing innocently understated prose with pictures of simple but imaginative adventures, Liwska invites readers to giggle at Lucy's impressive escapades that unfold entirely visually. When the rainy countryside becomes a roaring ocean, the wagon's a sailboat riding cresting waves. The wagon also becomes a rocket ship, a train, a construction-site truck and a covered wagon. At the carnival/circus (market), "Lucy neatly loaded the wagon with vegetables from her list"—by juggling them with help from a trapeze flyer. The illustrator's pencil work is nimble, her backgrounds airy and free, with hatched grasses for these child animals—cousins of her characters in Deborah Underwood's Quiet Book (2010)—to romp in. The colors glow softly. Red wagon's last role? The perfect nap-spot for a girl all played out. A winner. (Picture book. 2-5)

Kristi Jemtegaard
Rendered in the softest possible pencil strokes and the palest pastel tints, this tender story of a feisty little fox and her animal friends…will surely satisfy the diminutive demographic that longs to leave home, but only if there's a nap at the end of the adventure.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399252372
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 206,097
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.92 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Renata Liwska lives in Calgary, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    This is an excellent book and really expands the imagination of

    This is an excellent book and really expands the imagination of the pretend world of toddlers. My 2 year old daughter wants it read to her at least 2x a day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    My daughter loves this book. The storyline is simple, but the il

    My daughter loves this book. The storyline is simple, but the illustrations are wonderful and if narrated make for a very cute story. She has to read it every single night!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Ok

    Uhh, wow.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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