Robert Vescio (text) and Cara King (illustrator) The Box Cars, EK Books, February 2019, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925335835
It can be difficult to break into the bond of best friends to make a three-some. This picture book about friendship, sharing and inclusion comes from a publisher that takes pride in exploring themes. The story explores best friends’ Liam and Kai’s imaginary play in the park with their home-made cardboard box cars. Bystander, Eve wants to join in and the children try out different ways to include her until they reach a resourceful solution. Naïve styled compositions in warm pastel coloured spreads expand the visual narrative with possibilities of the children’s inventive roleplaying and touches of humour. Readers will recognise and enjoy the simple joy of make-believe play and be inspired to create their own toys from recycled materials.
Reviewed by Liz Anelli