Going Places, by twin brothers Peter and Paul Reynolds, is a wonderful read aloud for children in the early elementary age range. As children grow, we tend to focus on following the rules, listening to instructions, and falling in line. But we still value “thinking outside the box” and a children’s creativity. It’s a difficult balance, and it’s one that we see a great example of in this book.
When they arrive at the starting line, they find many identical go-carts at the starting line. Theirs is the only one that’s different. It’s so different, in fact, that a boy laughs at it and says they are going to lose the race. How the story ends is not really a surprise, but the way the kids get to the finish line is significant.
Going Places shows what happens when children harness their creative spirit and work as a team to accomplish a goal. The Reynolds brothers have created an engaging story with lovely illustrations to teach a lesson. They reference science and art in showing the value of originality and invention. And it is particularly worth noting that this book features characters of color. It’s a struggle to find books that children of all ethnic groups and races can see themselves in, but this one does so beautifully.
It is rare that you find a simple, read aloud story book that is relevant and interesting to kids up to 10 years old, but Going Places is just that.