Book Review: Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliany

Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliany is an early chapter book and nominee for a 2016 Nutmeg Award. Digby O'Day and Percy are best friends. This daring canine duo can find adventure anywhere, even entering an All-Day Race. Digby is sure he can win, especially with Percy as his co-driver. But when the race starts and Digby and Percy are quickly left in the dust, it seems like they don't stand a chance. They meet peril after peril: a car that breaks down (and slides back to the edge of a cliff!), a near miss with an oncoming train, and worst of all, Digby's archenemy, Lou Ella, who is also in the race and will stop at nothing to win. In a day full of twists, turns, thrills, and surprises, anything can happen. Who will come out ahead?

Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane is a fun and easy read for reluctant readers and those just starting to branch out into chapter books. Digby loves his car, it may be old but he takes great care of it. Digby's neighbor Lou Ella gets a new car every year and is always asking Digby when he will get a new care of his own, rather than taking care of the older car. The two, and their cars, are put to the test during the big race. Slow and stead Digby, and his good nature, suffer several hardships along the way but just keep chugging along. Lou Ella is pushy and insistent on everything being her way, and in turn makes the people around her unhappy and less than helpful because of it. The story is much more than a retelling of the Tortoise and the Hare, while there are similarities, and the characters are really well fleshed out for a story with so little text. The illustrations really bring Digby and his friends to life, making readers identify with them more than one might expect.


Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane is more than worthy of the Nutmeg nomination, and will intyerest a large number of readers. It will draw reluctant or challenged readers into the story and keep them interested on what will happen to Digby and his car next. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Digby O'Day and the Great Diamond Robbery

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