Going Places

Going Places9781442466081_p0_v3_s260x420Going Places

Peter and Paul Reynolds

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Fiction,  Mar. 18, 2014

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Creative ability, Go-carts, Race, Imagination, Teamwork

Opening: “Rafael had been waiting all year long for the Going Places contest, a chance to build a go-cart, race it…and win.”

Synopsis: Rafael wastes no time in opening his “Going Places”kit and reads the instructions with a magnifying glass to make sure that he follows the directions precisely to build his go-cart. He peeks over the fence to see how Maya is doing with her cart and finds her perched on top of her kit watching and sketching a picture of a bird in a tree. The next day Rafael checks back and discovers Maya is building a flying machine.  Rafael points out, “that’s not a go-cart.” She replies, “Who said it HAD to be a go-cart?”  Rafael, who really wants to win the race, realizes Maya’s vision and suggests they team up. On the day of the race all the students arrive with their look-alike go-carts. Rafael and Maya are teased about their unusual entry, but they end up soaring to the finish line to a cheering crowd.

Why I like this book: I enjoyed Peter H. Reynolds collaborative effort with his twin brother, Paul A. Reynolds, in this imaginative story about creative ability and thinking outside the box. The text reveals the discovery of new ideas and visions, the importance of teamwork and the joy and wonder of using your imagination to create something unique. Two very different minds working together are a lot more creative and productive than one — a great take-away message for children. Peter’s illustrations have his trademark whimsical appeal, but the artwork for Going Places is very bold, colorful and expressive. The students in the class are multi-ethnic, another signature of Peter and Paul’s interest in appealing to the global family. This is an entertaining and original story for children.

About the authors: Peter H. Reynolds is the bestselling author and illustrator of I’m Here, The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, and the North Star.  He’s sold over 20 million books in 25 countries. Paul A. Reynolds is CEO and co-founder (with Peter) of the Boston-based educational media company FableVisionCheck out Peter’s website .

Activity: Encourage children to use their imaginations to  design and draw their own go-carts on paper.  Help them think outside of the box. Perhaps their go-cart resembles a favorite insect, monster, dinosaur, or truck.  Maybe it’s meant to operate on the ground, in the air or underwater.

Resource:  I also recommend teachers and parents check out a special site FableVision and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills have created for educators. It’s called Above & Beyond: The Story of the 4Cs Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

36 thoughts on “Going Places

  1. Great choice! Teamwork! I love it. Mom and I have teamwork when I take her for a walk. She holds the leash and the treats. I look for squirrels, friends, birds, sticks, lost baseballs, butterflies, and gross things to eat from the ground…… What a team.

    Love and licks,


  2. I was certainly hoping that you would review the latest and greatest Reynold’s collaboration. Excellent, as always!


    • Nancy, I’m so glad that you got to hear him speak. I am glad to see him collaborate with his brother Paul. Wondered if that collaboration is reflected the theme of this story. I studied with Peter for a week two summers ago at the Southampton Children’s Literature Conference. He is so kind and encouraging. It was a great experience.


  3. I love that this book encourages kids to think outside of the box. My favorite form of thinking. Great review, Pat!


    • I wonder if they picked the theme of collaboration for the book because they have finally teamed up to write one together. Or perhaps a coincidence since it’s part of the 4Cs they are focusing on.


  4. I’d not known that Peter has a twin named Paul until now, nor am I at all familiar with his Cs though now I will be as you’ve piqued my curiosity. Thanks for a great review!



  5. This sounds like a wonderful book, Pat, with a great message for kids! I didn’t even know Peter had a twin brother – how cool that they collaborated on this! Thanks so much for another terrific addition to our list!


  6. I am a huge fan of Peter’s work, and I had heard some buzz about this book. Last time I checked my library didn’t have it yet – maybe time for the bookstore? This is just the reminder I needed, Pat.


  7. What a good idea and one that I think is rarely addressed: teamwork and daring to imagine. There is quite often a lot of loneliness involved in the creation of something and in having vision. How great to encourage working as a team. People do it when they join a band, so why not extend the idea to any creative project?


    • Peter and Paul Reynolds are always thinking out side of the box, daring to try something new and encourage kids to do the same. Love their educational organization FableVision and their new effort with the 4Cs.


  8. I always really enjoy Paul’s books, they have great messages and the illustrations are so cute. He has such a specific style I can always tell by the cover art if it’s one of his books.


  9. this looks like a fun book… I love books in which kids think outside the box, build stuff, and work together to make something bigger than themselves. Can’t wait to read it!


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