Cars, Signs and Porcupines! by Ethan Long


Cars, Signs and Porcupines! 
Review Copy from Henry Holt

Last year I reviewed the debut title in Ethan Long's Happy County series, Hello, World!. Inspired by Richard Scarry's Busytown, a childhood staple of mine (and my children) I instantly fell in love with it. While his illustration style and palette are different, the animal characters and their silly, slightly frenetic lives feel comfortably familiar. To this format, Long brings wonderful wordplay, from the names of the animal inhabitants of Happy County (like Pauly and Polly of Pauly and Polly's Porcupine Playland) to the playful names of the businesses around town (like Buckstars Coffee and the Deli Llama). With Cars, Signs and Porcupines!, Long grabs the attention of all pre-schoolers and toddlers (and older readers!) with a plethora of cars and trucks and things that go (although, minus Goldbug). But don't worry, there is PLENTY to pore over on every page.

Each two page spread in Cars, Signs and Porcupines! is a chapter, as noted in the table of contents. The first chapter kicks off, "Everyone's wheels are in full motion and that's a good sign! Let's get this day rolling!" Construction vehicles and "County Helpers" get to work while the town water tower springs a leak, flooding Pauly and Polly's Porcupine Playland and freeing the fenced in porcupines who scatter across the pages of the rest of the book, with everyone in Happy County working to corral the playful porcupines. As readers keep their eyes peeled for porcupines, they get to match the right sign to the right road condition, practice their alphabet with underground pipes and help out-of-towners on bikes search for hot tea and muffins. 

Look for the fourth book in the series, From Season to Season, coming this fall!

Hello, World!

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