“It’s a perfect book for revving up small helpers to pitch in with the shoveling.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Charming and endearing.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The grit of The Little Engine that Could, the nostalgic illustrations of Katy and the Big Snow, and a touch of modernity from an accomplished author and illustrator, combine to become Small Walt.” —School Library Journal
A tiny snowplow determined to prove his worth battles a blizzard in this supremely charming story in the tradition of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little Engine that Could.
My name is Walt,
I plow and I salt.
They say I’m small,
but I’ll show them all.
Small Walt and his driver, Gus, take on a blizzard! All the bigger snowplows doubt that Walt has what it takes to plow the roads in the storm, but Walt is determined to prove them wrong.
Brimming with onomatopoeia and Walt’s affirming chants, this sweet picture book shows that when it comes to strength, size doesn’t matter. Bestselling illustrator Marc Rosenthal’s wintry scenes make this book the perfect cozy read-aloud.
After a blizzard hits, it looks as though Walt, "the smallest snowplow in the fleet," will be left behind in the parking lot, unable to keep up with bigger plows. Then along comes Gus, a worker who knows that Walt is up for the job. Verdick (Peep Leap) assumes a chummy tone in her concise narration and keeps the storytelling taut. There's just enough vehicular geekiness for aficionados: Gus goes through a four-point checklist to make sure that Walt is in good working order, and there are sound effects throughout. But what gives the story its verve is Rosenthal's digitally colored pencil artwork, which has a matter-of-fact open-heartedness and a compelling sense of place that recalls the stories of Virginia Lee Burton. Yes, Walt wins the respect of the big machines, but what feels more important is the relationship between snowplow and driver. When the story concludes with Gus tying his blue scarf around Walt's rearview mirror, declaring "A blue ribbon for my buddy," readers will know their bond is the real thing. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Mary Cummings, Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. Illustrator's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties.