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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Along for the Ride is a children’s picture book written by Michael DiPinto and illustrated by Sue Lynn Cotton. Hugo was your typical, adventure-seeking, teenage grasshopper, one whose favorite sport was base-jumping from grass to flower petals to whatever new and exciting place he could find. He was on his own one day, with no friends around, when Hugo decided that he’d base-jump and have a bit of an adventure. When a strong gust of wind knocked Hugo out of his familiar area, however, he found himself in a desperate state of affairs. He was in the middle of a traffic intersection and narrowly missed getting squashed by a school bus. Hugo executed a mighty leap and landed on a car’s windshield. Hugo studied the man inside the car who was staring right back at him, and they each considered the other until the light changed, and the car started again. Hugo thought of jumping away again, but then he thought it might be the perfect opportunity for a grand adventure.
Michael DiPinto’s charming children’s picture book, Along for the Ride, shares the intrepid Hugo’s experiences as he rides on the windshield of the author’s car. I was delighted to read in the preface that the author based the book on a ride he shared with a grasshopper, and loved seeing the world through Hugo’s eyes. Sue Lynn Cotton’s illustrations work so very well with the story. I love her paintings and found myself examining every little detail on each panel. I especially appreciated the variety of facial expressions she gives to the epic traveler, Hugo, particularly when he smells the very stinky cow farm that they drive by. Along for the Ride is an imaginative feast that will have kids smiling as they follow the adventures of the teenage, base-jumping grasshopper. Along for the Ride is most highly recommended.