Poojo’s Got Wheels – written and illustrated by Charrow

   Poojo’s Got Wheels – written and illustrated by Charrow, Candlewick Press, 9781536210361, 2021 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book?  No beating around the bush with this story. Charrow lays it out straight: “This is Poojo. He was born without hind legs.” Poojo is a small dog, low to the ground, with the horizontal ears of a terrier and a slightly squashed but completely adorable face. The little dog has his own set of wheels for getting around and the contraption even comes with handy pockets for storing stuff. His lack of legs doesn’t get in his way and we see him running roughshod in the dog park until, uh oh, he gets a flat. He and his friend (a pink bunny) try a few wheels on for size with comic results, but eventually get the show back up and going. The illustrations are fun and mod, done with gouache and digital tools. The text is set in a spindly font that looks hand doodled. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a sweet and simple look at disabilities without being preachy or treacly. With its simple text (one sentence per page) and bold colors on a mostly white background, the book could be enjoyed by children from 3-6. The intricacy of the smaller figures and penwork make it best-suited to small group or one-on-one viewing. It could be a good addition to an SEL toolkit. The nonbinary author/illustrator uses they/their pronouns, which could also be a teachable moment for readers.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: April 29, 2021

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