Craig Frazier has tapped into the hearts of the young
child and their natural love of vehicles, animals and magic.
In his book Stanley goes for a Drive we are
introduced to Stanley, a farmer, and his old red pickup
truck. On a hot day, Stanley decides to go for a drive. The
marvelous hand-drawn and digitally colored illustrations
pull the child’s focus to wheels churning up dust and the
‘50s-style grill of the bright red truck as it passes farm
animals silhouetted in the background. Stanley himself is
portrayed in silhouette until he slams on the brakes as he
is passing a herd of cows. While Stanley performs his
“strange” feat on the sky, he is pictured in muted colors,
again drawing the reader’s focus to Stanley and his actions.
As Stanley gets back in the truck, he is again pictured in
silhouette, and the colors and focus are drawn to the sky
This is a book of few words with vocabulary
that speaks to, not down to, a young child. The pictures
tell the story, and after a few readings, I would suspect
many children would have the text memorized, providing a
great pre-reading experience.
Early childhood teachers will find this fits perfectly
into a unit on transportation or weather. This would be a
perfect fit alongside the book It Looked Like Spilt
Milk by Charles G. Shaw.