Skip to main content

Mitchell's License written by Hallie Durand, illustrated by Tony Fucile


Hallie Durand and Tony Fucile, who wrote and ilustrated Let's Do Nothing and brilliantly illustrated Bink & Gollie, have teamed up to bring us the exuberantly zippy new book, Mitchell's License.


The energy packed into Mitchell's License begins with the cover and doesn't slow down until Mitchell's head hits the pillow.  As a special bedtime enticement (I think we all know a little bit about these...) Mitchell's dad has offered himself up as the remote-control vehicle that will ferry Mitchell to bed. Dad is pretty game and Mitchell is more than willing to play along as the two zoom through the house, dodging one traffic hazard after another.
While Durand's idea takes a common parental experience and turns it into a fun story, it is Fucile's illustrations and his animator's skill with character development that really revs the engine of this book. The exaggerated actions of Mitchell and his father had my son, who is a huge Tom & Jerry fan, laughing out loud while Mitchell's enthusiasm had me smiling.

Mitchell is a kid who knows how to get the most out of any experience, even trying to snag a sweet when he drives his Dad-car over to the cookie jar insisting that cookies are gas. Dad doesn't fall for it and reigns in the fun a bit as he heads to bed. Mitchell's room is a treat to see, with roads painted on the walls and printed on the sheets and toy cars everywhere, just what you'd expect and hope from parents who clearly value imagination. When Mitchell finally does drift off to sleep, his dreams are of driving as well. This time, he drives his own sporty red convertible and heads right to the gas station, which of course has a huge cookie jar on top!

One final thing that I want to call attention to in Mitchell's License, something I wish was so common that it didn't even merit a mention, is the multicultural family portrayed here. This is so rare in picture books that it does stand out and, in Mitchell's License it stands out even more so because this family is not the most often portrayed (when portrayed at all) African American and caucasian family. Bravo Tony Fucile, Hallie Durand and Candlewick Press for pushing the envelope!

Comments

Thanks for sharing this book, Tanya! I know there are lots of youngsters out there who would get a thrill out of driving, uh, reading this book!
Tanya said…
Ha! Good one! I have gotten lots of laughs from the kids while reading it at story time.

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret) The Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…