“Cleverly conceived and perfectly executed, this is one graphic designers, transportation gurus, lovers of process . . . and actually everyone else . . . will adore.”
Upon opening the book, readers are greeted by the scene of the gritty McToad walking towards a delightfully delapidated ramshackle shed. A bright green, dandelion-strewn field in the foreground and a monochromatic yet highly detailed yellow background round out the tableau featuring the simple pronoucement that “McToad likes Thursdays.” As the book develops, McToad’s enviable business empire emerges—he has prime branding on every mode of transportation (each unique!)—and we discover that he seems to have vertically integrated across the entire process, much like the business barons of old. What is perhaps most admirable about McToad is not how hard he works, but the joy he finds in working and doing it well, shown as he sips his lemonade and oils his lawn mower halfway through the job. The different font for each transportation mechanism, while difficult for new readers to decipher on their own, is punchy and elevates this deceptively simple story. The witty, ironic tale develops wonderfully and doesn’t disappoint as the book achieves its climax: the juxtaposition of the tremendous effort required to reach Tiny Island with just how tiny Tiny Island is. Those entranced by the way things work will note this title pulls all the right levers, providing plenty of engineering phenomena to marvel at, and lovers of detail will delight in the effort given to providing personality and authenticity to every page: an origami Yoda and cheat sheet of mowing patterns adorn McToad’s desk, rust streaks from every bolt on the ship, little debris and grass clippings fly in all directions at the appropriate times and endpapers tell part of the story themselves. Cleverly conceived and perfectly executed, this is one graphic designers, transportation gurus, lovers of process . . . and actually everyone else . . . will adore.
McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea.
McToad uses a host of transportation methods to get his lawn mower from his shed to Tiny Island and back again. Which was your favorite? Did any surprise you?
I wrote this book off when I first read it, but my son immediately took to it. He asked to read it over and over again. I found that with each iteration I actually enjoyed the book more and more (which is untrue of many books). The story follows a cheerful McToad who goes to great lengths to mow Tiny Island each Thursday. To reach the island he must transport his lawnmower by airplane, boat, helicopter, and train which seems like a great deal of effort, but not for McToad who seems to enjoy every minute of the journey.
I fell in love with this book when I first saw the cover, and especially for vehicle lovers, it only gets better from there. The illustrations are awesome—detailed, creative and engaging—as are the hand-lettered fonts for each vehicle name and following McToad on his journey to mow Tiny Island is far more entertaining than you might originally think.