Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Pickwick’s Picnic: A counting adventure by Carol Brendler, illustrated by Renee Kurilla

The story begins in a city where the the Pickwicks, a family of fluffy little cats (or possibly dogs? I’m not sure), load up their Pickwick pickup for a trip to the beach. They’re alone on the road, heading for a box-girder bridge, when other traffic starts showing up and the counting begins. Squeaky jeeps, scooters, motorcycles, and hydraulic haulers proliferate until there’s a veritable traffic jam and they all discover - the bridge is closed! Now there’s really a traffic jam! Everyone is just sitting in the heat and feeling grumpier and grumpier until Pip and Peach, the Pickwick pups (or kittens) come up with a solution - a picnic right there on the bridge. Soon it’s a street party with everyone joining in to enjoy the party. When the bridge finally reopens, the Pickwicks get their picnic on the beach, just a little later than planned.

Kurilla’s art is cute and friendly, with lots of colors, zipping vehicles, and leafy green trees. The author is from Chicago and the illustrator from Boston and I could see echoes of both cities in the illustrations, which show little bays, lighthouses, and bridges as well as brownstones, flashing billboards, and all the parts of a busy city.

Verdict: While not particularly unique, this is the type of story that will be a great standby for storytime, a fun read for summer, and an excellent addition to your counting books. A strong addition to any picture book collection.

ISBN: 9780544839588; Published 2017 by Clarion Books; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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