By Lois Lenski
Random House, 1934
Mr. Small has a little Auto. It is red and shiny. He likes to look at it.
When my son was one, he asked me to read this book to him. Every. Single. Day. He loved everything about it, from the simple “Dick and Jane”-style text to Lenski’s trademark modest illustrations. On the surface, not much happens — basically, Mr. Small takes his car out of the little garage, drives to town, gets rained on, and returns home — but that’s the appeal of it. You feel dropped into Mr. Small’s calm, innocent world, where the worst thing that happens is a flat tire. (But it’s easily fixed and then the sun comes out.) If you need a book for a car-loving toddler, this is it. And check out the other fabulous books in the series — The Little Fire Engine, The Little Farm, Papa Small, and Policeman Small. (He’s quite the Renaissance Man.) The only disappointment is The Little Airplane, which, quite honestly, reads like a pilot’s manual.