Small Walt Spots Dot

h1 December 18th, 2020 by jules


Perhaps today’s post will speak to those in the Northeast with their fresh piles of snow. (This Southerner is jealous.) It’s a new tale about Small Walt, the anthromorphic snow plow, from author Elizabeth Verdick and illustrator Marc Rosenthal. This new tale, Small Walt Spots Dot (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, September 2020), is partly dedicated to “everyone who has ever helped a stray find a home.”

If you’re familiar with the previous Virginia Lee Burton-esque Small Walt books, you know that Small Walt’s driver is named Gus — and they’re a pair. In this newest adventure, the wind’s howling and snow’s flying, and Walt and Gus give it their all on the streets, plowing sidewalks (“so no one slips”), storefronts, and more. It’s Walt who spots a small dog in the snow, and after a close call with Walt (Gus isn’t paying as close attention as clever Walt is), there’s a small group trying to catch and help the dog. (Bea—a community-service SUV, driven by policewoman Chance—appears.) Thanks to Walt’s gentle urgings and warm interior, the dog ends up sitting in the driver’s seat and, eventually, sent to an animal shelter. You can probably guess that—after Gus gives it some thought—an adoption occurs. And the dog they name Dot makes this pair a trio.

Verdick fills this story with short, snappy, rhythmic sentences, which makes this one an especially effective read-aloud: “Whoosh! Wind’s howling. Swoosh! Snow’s flying.” The text also includes jubilant verses that Walt and Gus sing: “We’re Gus and Walt. We plow and salt. No job’s too small. We give it our all!” There are also moments of onomatopoeia — some “ERRRRRRNT!”s, “VROOM”s, and more — all hand-lettered by Rosenthal. He fills these spreads with abundant greed and red holiday hues, and there’s a lot of energy and movement throughout, particuarly as our scrappy dog runs about.

Here are some illustrations from this endearing tale. Enjoy!



(Two images above: Click either image to see spread in its entirety)



(Two images above: Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


” …Forward—push that snow! Backward—start a new row!”
(Click image to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


(Click cover to enlarge)


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SMALL WALT SPOTS DOT. Text copyright © 2020 by Elizabeth Verdick. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Marc Rosenthal and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, New York.

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