Dixie O'Day: In the Fast Lane

Publisher: The Bodley Head

Mother and daughter Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy have teamed up for the first time for this sweet story, the first in a series about canine driver Dixie O'Day and his good friend, Percy. Much like Noddy and Big Ears before them, the dashing duo travel around the countryside in Dixie's beloved bright red car, having all kinds of adventures along the way.

In this story, when the All-Day Race is announced, Dixie decides to enter and try his hand at winning first prize. But Dixie and Percy face some challenges ahead: Dixie's car is having problems, but even worse, arch-enemy Lou-Ella is out to claim the prize in her brand new sports car, and will stop at nothing to be the winner. The day of the race brings some unexpected twists and turns - who will finally take first place?

Children who like cars will especially enjoy the motoring theme of this gentle illustrated storybook - and all will relish spotting all the funny vehicles taking part in the race. With a short chapter for each day of the week, and lots of fun extras such as a map, car games to play and a quiz, this is a perfect book for newly independent readers. The small, satisfyingly chunky hardback format is ideal for small fingers to manage, and the beautifully-designed spreads, in a bold palette of red, black and white, are eye-catching and very attractive.

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