Saturday, December 1, 2018

Review: Small Walt and Mo the Tow by Elizabeth Verdick

by Elizabeth Verdick
Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
Paula Wiseman Books
Picture Book
40 pages 
ages 2 to 7

We’re Gus and Walt
We plow and we salt
We clear the snow so the
Cars can go!

A bitter blizzard. A snowbound town. When a car skids off the road, Small Walt and Gus might not have what it takes to save the day on their own. But who does? Mo the Tow to the rescue!

When we need a tow,
We call on Mo…
We can depend
On our new friend! 

Text filled with onomatopoeia and Walt’s affirming chants make this story about friendship and accepting help from others a real winner.


This is a book that will make small truck fans hearts' beat faster. 

Small Walt and his driver Gus are more than ready when the big snow storm hits. Plowing and salting the streets is fun, especially when it allows the other people in town to get around. That is, until a car veers off from a forest road and lands in a drift. Small Walt and Gus stand-by ready to help, but it's not a job made for them. Luckily, Mo the Tow is on his way, and the day might be saved after all.

Nothing's better than a more traditional picture book story when it comes to trucks and their heroic deeds. The tale allows the vehicles to come to life with a little personality and a lot of Varrrooomm. The text is simple enough for younger listeners to understand and makes a great read-aloud with sound effects pointed out. 

The illustrations are bright, clear and done with love. Every page shows the emotions in a way younger listeners will enjoy and understand. It's one to flip through all alone, and with a reader, a story to enjoy again and again.

The messages is there, but lets the trucks keep center stage. No one can do everything and help is a wonderful thing. Plus, it builds friendships and makes everyone's day better.  It's simply a lovely read.\

And here they are...

The Author...
Elizabeth Verdick  has written more than thirty books for toddlers to teens. She collaborated with Marc Rosenthal on Small Walt, which Kirkus Reviews called "reminiscent of Virginia Burton's classics" in a starred review, and its sequel, Small Walt and Mo the Tow. She is a graduate of the Hamline University MFA and lives in Woodbury, Minnesota. Learn more at

The Illustrator...
Marc Rosenthal is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of many books for children, including Small Walt by Elizabether Verdick; I Must Have Bobo, I'll Save You Bob, and Bobo the Sailor Man, all by Eileen Rosenthal; The Straight Line Wonder by Mem Fox; and Phooey, which he wrote. Marc's illustrations can be seen regularly in The New Yorker, Time, Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and others. Visit him online at

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