A sizzling ditty that rattles along

25th May 2001 at 01:00
Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Jill Barton (Walker Books pound;9.99), is a joyous picture-book jaunt featuring a rhyming, rattling ditty about a family's attempt to travel to the beach in an old banger on an extremely hot day.

Any family or school party that has been thwarted by breakdowns on an outing will appreciate this one. Root's text sizzles along, threaded through with rhyminglines and onomatopoeic vocabulary that adult and child will long to read - or sing - aloud together.

Barton's illustrations echo the sunshine-laden appeal of her Kate Greenaway Medal-winning book The Pig in the Pond (also from Walker), another story about a farmer who takes time out to go for a swim. Both tales resonate with summer heat and are full of visual pantomime and affection.

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