Matt Ringler is a children's book writer who loves roller coasters and any kind of fast ride. When his daughter Sam was small, he took her for Strollercoaster rides all over New York City. They now live together in Yonkers, New York.
I have been reading a number of possible 2021 Caldecott nominees for picture books with a few people, but this one, #13, I review alone. The story is about a kid, Sam, having a meltdown, who needs to go fast to settle down. The book is dedicated by author Matt Ringler to his son Sam. . . hmm, autobiographical connection, just maybe? I used to drive kids around in strollers or cars to get them to sleep. Oh, and my first son, who also had to move to get to sleep, is named Sam! So you want my expertise? Sure quiet and calm may help most kids, but sometimes movement is called for with some kids. If he or she is a small baby, just swinging her/him around (okay, sometimes gently, but sometimes a little more vigorously, depending on the kid) may prove calming. You're welcome. Send checks for that advice to my account. But Ringler and Raul already know this.
The perfect artist for this speed and color story is Raul the Third, who now has a Raul the fourth to push around in a stroller himself. It is not slow and quiet, as one might expect--meditation, yoga, white noise--but hey, some kids will be perfect for this, whether tantrumming or reading. The style is a kind of homage to funky and colorful fun sixties art (I saw a bit of Robert Crumb's "Keep on truckin' in there, Raul. . .) and various Mexican cultural references (ooh, and Oscar the Grouch, why not?!). Cool. Now go the (heck) to sleep!
Super cute and fun. A kid having a hard time is wrangled into a stroller and taken on a lively trip around the neighborhood. The illustrations are great (I'd expect nothing less from Raúl the Third) and the text is clear and exciting. I wish there was a tiny bit more about the emotional aspect of it. As it is, the kid just has a meltdown until distracted enough to fall asleep. It's definitely not a huge gripe, just a lil quibble.
On a grumpy day, when nothing else will do the trick, Sam needs a ride on the strollercoaster! And what a fun ride it is! The artwork is riotous color with so many fun details to pore over, detailing modern city scenes. The simple text builds some tension and release, just like a real 'coaster, and allows the illustrations to sing. Gorgeous.
The illustrations in this one have so much bright detail and character! It reminds me of some graphic novels I have read before. And I love how in the story the dad sees his little girl getting fed up with being inside all day and takes her out for a stroller coaster, all through their neighborhood seeing all the people, animals, shops, and more around them. This one also reminds me of My Papi Has a Motorcycle with how the dad takes his daughter through the neighborhood as a way to bond.
"There's a time each and every day when the inside feels too small for Sam... Blocks block every path! Trains have become untrained. Stuffies are stuffed in all the wrong places... It's time to take a ride on the Strollercoaster."
A dad sets things right with his toddler by embarking on the town, looking closely at things, enjoying the activities of the community together.
Not just a cute story about throwing a tantrum, going for a stroller ride and taking a nap, this book is also a gazing book. The illustrations are rich and intricate, loaded with text opportunities in English and Spanish. The artwork is reminiscent of Keith Haring.
Every day there is a time when the inside feels too small for Sam. She kicks toys around the room, stomping and angry. There is only one solution for this, which is to take a ride on the strollercoaster! To start the ride, Sam gets buckled in and the straps are pulled tight. A reminder of keeping hands and feet inside at all times is given, and they are off! Sam’s father runs fast and the neighborhood flies past them. There are cool shops, sweet-smelling bakeries, and the green of a park. Soon Sam feels like she’s flying and she’s smiling. The ride ends with a dark tunnel with a light at the end. By the time they get back home, Sam is asleep and her father is ready for a nap too.
Ringler writes a book that starts with anger and frustration and then shows a way to find delight in life once more with big smiles that turn into a cozy nap. It’s a book with a strong arc that is enhanced by all of the urban elements of the story and the warm relationship of father and daughter. The text in the book plays with the rollercoaster theme, using buckles, straps and the iconic warning and then clicking and clacking uphill. It’s funny, universal and delightful.
The illustrations are playful right from the beginning with all sorts of small details that are great fun to discover. Keep an eye on Sam’s stormcloud t-shirt that is big and bold at first, and then covered up skillfully as she calms down. The urban neighborhood is brought fully to life in the images with rainbow sherbet colors carrying throughout, creating a tropical summer feel.
A dynamic thrillride of a book. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Buckle up and get ready for a ride! Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler is a fun-filled picture book featuring a dad and daughter duo who take an exciting stroll through their neighborhood to shake a cranky mood. I think all my fellow parents know how important time outside is after the lockdowns we all experienced during the pandemic. I don’t know about you, but daily family walks have become one of my favorite ways to take a break from the day, and Strollercoaster captures the fun of a neighborhood stroll perfectly!
With lots of clicks, clacks, and whooshes, we follow along as the father and daughter discover their diverse urban neighborhood with a narrative that mirrors the ups and downs of a roller coaster. The ride comes to an end as the pair arrive back home just in time for a nap.
The illustrations by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay are fantastic! Every page is so fun, from the vibrant colors, all the way down to the font for the onomatopoeia. I love all the detail they put into the neighborhood, especially the Spanish words throughout the illustrations!
Thank you so much to Little Brown Books For Young Readers for providing me with a review copy of Strollercoaster. It was an exciting ride and I can’t wait to share it with my favorite little stroller partner.
You never get too old to forget how much you deplored afternoon naps as a child. Who wants to sleep in the middle of a grand scheme? As a parent, the relief of a child taking a break is real. You are exhausted, needing quiet as much as they do. As an elder, a rest is not craved so much as savored.
The ingenuity of parents who know their child needs to sleep is a marvel. Strollercoaster (Little, Brown And Company, June 1, 2021) written by Matt Ringler with art by Raul the Third and Elaine Bay is an extraordinary cruise through the neighborhood. It's a rip-roaring ride on the wild side!
The wondrous illustrations in Stollercoaster are so dynamic, the pictures truly tell the story even without the words. That said, as a grandmother who sometimes experiences these bouts of temper portrayed in the beginning of the story, I don't feel this behavior needs to be condoned or rewarded. The author perfectly tells the secret of how to calm down an out of control toddler, the stroller ride is a perfect solution. This tale is a delight for a child's senses, as they experience the colorful diverse creative neighborhood where the daughter and her dad reside. Toddlers can listen for sounds, scents, and view the action as they transcend into this magical neighborhood.
Action-filled and incredibly detailed illustrations of cityscapes, created with pen, ink, pencil, and Adobe Photoshop color, fill this picture book's pages. Even the endpapers are worth a second look because of the intricacy of the images. The plot concerns the actions of a clever father who has figured out just what to do when his young daughter Sam is heading for a meltdown. Off they head for a different location than their stuffy apartment. What could have been just a casual stroll down the neighborhood streets becomes quite an adventure as the father transforms Sam's stroller into an amusement park ride similar to a rollercoaster. As they pass by various shops and see snapshots of the city, Sam settles in for the ride while urging her father on. The book's pages contain several large letters with the sounds the stroller and Sam are making, resulting in an entertaining read aloud if delivered with the energy the book and the stroll (!) necessitate. There's plenty of onomatopoeia, and a cool double-page spread of Sam's face as she feels as though they are flying. Up and down, the dad-powered stroller goes, moving along brick walls, into a tunnel, and then coasting for home with a sleepy daughter and exhausted father back home. I know this is a funny book, and many parents will relate to the temper tantrum and the father's actions, but all I could think the entire time I was reading it was what could have happened if one of the stroller wheels had popped off while they were heading down those hills. Still, this is clearly a savvy and loving father willing to do anything to distract his daughter. Plus, he gets in an incredible workout while doing so.
StollerCoaster tells the story of a little girl and her dad that need to get out of the house. He is Daddy sitting and the two have exhausted every toy, game, and activity in the house, better known as the daily disaster. It is time to go for a walk -- not an ordinary walk but a walk at roller coaster speed!
Spanish words are gently woven into this story on billboards and signs across the city as the child and dad head out on their journey. The colors and cartoons are a delight in full double-page spreads as they whiz on through the city, up and down in and out!
Colors and actions best describe this story. Speed is also a factor in this stroller coaster event. Dad is almost magical in his handling of the stroller. Of course, his daughter is strapped in tight and advised to keep hands and feet inside at all times. Safety rules come first as they head out! But naturally, the story winds down, back at home, and it is time to….zzz~
Drawn in Raul the Third's distinctive busy style (known for the graphic novel "Lowrider" and the picture book "Vamos! Let's Go to the Market!") that showcases a high-density, Latino neighborhood, many youngsters will relate to the grumpy feelings they get when tired. They will also relate to enjoying the calming effects of stroller rides (fast or slow). This will work very well in 1-on-1 situations, or on multiple reads as kids can pick out all the visual details. I also liked the depiction of a great dad doing some sensitive parenting. The busy artwork, unfortunately, makes this too visually complicated for a storytime read.