A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lots of things, places, and foods to identify in the busy city landscape. Lots of Spanish words on signs in the city, such as "Agua" (on a water tower), "hola," (hello), "corre" (run), "azucar" (sugar), "pastel" (cake), "paletas" (popsicle), "estoy cansada" (I'm tired), "oscuro luz" (dark light). The words aren't defined, but are understandable with context clues in the art, like "bienvenidos" on the welcome mat at home.
When inside feels to small and you get grumpy, take a walk or a ride in a stroller outside to improve your mood. Look around your neighborhood and notice small details -- it may be more exciting and interesting than you think. It's fun to pretend.
Positive Role Models
The little girl's dad makes an ordinary ride in the stroller a fun and exciting adventure by imagining it's a roller coaster ride, with speed, twist and turns, and a trip through a dark tunnel. Instead of scolding his kid who's out-of-sorts at home, he finds a fun way to change her mood and get her to go down for a nap -- by going outside for a zippy ride and change of pace.
The main characters -- dad and toddler daughter -- cue as Latino. Lots of signs in Spanish throughout the cityscape. Diverse neighborhood residents of various skin tones, hair types, and ages, including a man selling paletas, several people in sombreros, and a Black basketball player.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Matt Ringler's Strollercoaster, illustrated by Raúl the Third and colorist Elaine Bay (¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market!), shows a resourceful, imaginative dad changing his toddler daughter Sam's cranky mood by taking her outside for a fun ride through their diverse city neighborhood in her stroller. There's loads to look at and identify in the vibrant neighborhood packed with people, parks, stores, and animals, illustrated in a colorful cartoon style filled with emotion, humor, and action. Sam and her dad cue as Latino, and there are many words in Spanish on signs and such, not translated but understandable through context clues in the art.
Is It Any Good?
This fast-paced romp begins with a kid in a cranky mood and ends with a peaceful nap thanks to an imaginative dad who knows the power of a change of scenery. Any parent who's driven or walked kids around to get them to sleep will relate to this appealing and creative dad's approach to a familiar challenge. As the unseen narrator says, "There's a time each and every day when the inside feels too small for Sam." Dad turns an ordinary day into an exciting adventure by doing nothing more than exploring their own neighborhood -- with the speed, ups and downs, and twists and turns of a roller coaster, including the "click clack, click clack" sounds of it ascending.
Kids will enjoy spotting all the colorful details in the street scenes by illustrator and colorist Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay. And author Matt Ringler conveys all the warmth, patience, and creativity of an energetic, loving dad.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.