In my job as a school librarian, I am occasionally faced with inquiries about what it is I do. When I began my professional life in aught 5 I was unaware of the apparent mystery surrounding my line of work. Since then I’ve tried to hone my pitch down to a nice litte bit of job description magic that leaves the questioner both satisfied and enlightened. I’m still working on it. In What Do Wheels Do All Day, the author sets out to accomplish a similar goal … only with wheels.
The story is told in rhyming verse, which shimmies the reader along, describing different ways that wheels are used in everyday life. They race, they spin, they push, well, you get the idea. It is how these words match up with the illustrations that make this title a quality nonfiction choice.
Let me take a minute to talk about the artwork, because it is not your run of the mill paint and canvas-type stuff. Giles Laroche creates his scenes in cut-paper relief, which is a fancy way to say that it looks similar to the work of Steve Jenkins, but more three dimensional. Laroche also appears to be a bit of a perfectionist, adding plenty of detail that the casual reader may not notice at first peep.
So while I’m still perfecting my job description to the masses, What Do Wheels Do All Day has mankind’s most important invention pretty well covered.