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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chapter book version of Genevieve/Wacky Races!, 2 Oct 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
Much-loved by millions, it's a pleasure to see Shirley Hughes collaborating with her daughter to produce a lovely little picture book for slightly older children.

Featuring Dixie and his fried Percy, the story involves them entering a car race, going up against a Penelope-Pitstop villainess and finding that helping others has the benefit of them helping back in their turn.

The illustrations are very different to her known style but perfectly complement the tone and story of In the Fast Lane.

It's a great series starter with loveable characters and a great look. One to share with pleasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dixie O'Day In The Fast Lane, 10 Sep 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
This is the first collaboration between mother and daughter Shirley Hughes (of My Naughty Little Sister fame, Alfie, etc) and Clara Vulliamy (The Bear With Sticky Paws, etc) and it is an utter delight. Dixie and his friend Percy often like to go for drives in Dixie's car. One day, when they break down, the rude and snobbish Lou Ella refuses to help and they are rescued by the friendly family. When there is an 'all-day race', Dixie and Percy decide to enter. However, when the friendly family need their help, they wonder whether they stand any chance of winning. Lou Ella, of course, refuses to contemplate the fact that she will lose...

This is a beautifully designed book, with short chapters and lots of retro illustrations. It was the perfect read for my six year old daughter and I am thrilled to see that it is the first in a series. Absolutely charming and with a good, central message about helping others, this is a must for all children's bookshelves. Both Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy have written so many books which have given pleasure and it is wonderful to see them writing together. A lovely story, which will appeal to both boys and girls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 28 Dec 2013
By 
A. Higson "Anna" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
I bought this for my seven year old and she's really enjoying it. The language is suitable for her age and there are some challenging words to stretch. A great plot and main character too. She's reading a chapter a day and says that it's her favourite book. I have pre-ordered the next one and am looking out for similar reads. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect bridge between picture books and chapter books, 22 Sep 2013
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
It gives me great pleasure to introduce two dashing gentlemen, Dixy O'Day, the bow tie wearing, responsible car owner, and his best friend, co-driver, and all round good chap, Percy. These furry fella's enjoy the simple things in life; Sunday motoring in the country, picnicing at the seaside and relaxing in the evening with a good cup of tea and their favourite biscuits. Not that they are adverse to a little excitement, which is handy as they do seem to get themselves in to tricky scrapes with alarming regularity!

While we still enjoy sharing our favourite picture books, my six-year-old daughter has started to request "grown up" chapter books for her pre bed reading. Although these books are written for early readers, with simple stories that appeal to her interests, I have found that the leap from picture book to chapter book to be a steep one. Particularly when I am reading an un-illustrated segment, I have noticed that my daughter's concentration wanes mid chapter and without a visual reference and in the absence of descriptions she has trouble keeping track of the secondary characters.

From the very first page you know that you are getting something different. Dixie O'Day is a very British book about a pair of well-mannered British chaps. Beneath the excitement of the great Didsworth to Dodsworth car race there are some very gentle lessons about taking care of your possessions, consideration for others, manners and doing good deeds.

In a world full of apps, technology and extra digital content it was a delight to watch my daughter interacting with the book in a much more traditional way- exploring the included character interviews, games and maps - these added extras have pulled us back to the book as much as the story itself.

The chapters were the perfect length to maintain a fidgeting child's attention, but long enough to that my daughter didn't feel short changed at bedtime. The chapters each ended on a gripping cliff hanger and on more than one occasion I gave in (gleefully*) to my daughters pleas of just one more chapter.

In my experience the illustrations in similar books are usually black and white. While the illustrations in Dixie O'Day benefit from the edition of just red, pink and grey, the use of different retro prints add to the overall texture of the pictures and makes the overall book feel as if a much larger colour palate has been used.

I loved the retro 1940-1950's styling. Everything from the illustrations themselves, the language use, even the compact size of the book, all nod to a past era. Although I was born long after the mimiced era, everything about the book made me feel nostalgic for my own childhood. Saturday mornings watching wacky races on the television, rummaging in charity shops for very British books about adventures, midnight feasts and lessons in morality.

Verdict: With it's fast paced and exciting chapters and vibrant illustrations on every page Dixy O'Day is the perfect bridge between the chapter books my daughter craves and the picture books we already love.

* another step closer to creating a mini bibliophile
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction to chapter books for younger readers, 10 Aug 2013
By 
K. L. Beeden (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
Dixie O'Day In the Fast Lane is a collaborative work between Shirley Hughes and her daughter Clara Vulliamy. Aimed at young readers, it is a fantastic introduction to a basic chapter book and a perfect progression from picturebooks. With seven short chapters it would also work well as a bedtime read for children not yet confident to read alone.

Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane is the first book in the Dixie O'Day series. We are introduced to Dixie and his sidekick Percy as they embark on a calamitous race reminiscent of an episode of Wacky Races. They meet a variety of challenges on their journey as they topple on a cliff edge and get stuck on a train track-can they overcome these mishaps and finish before confident, cocky Lou Ella?

With simple red, white and black illustrations, Clara Vulliamy has created bold, attractive artwork which perfectly compliments the text. The movement and velocity in the images will capture a child's imagination and adds to the quick-paced nature of the book. Dixie and Percy are illustrated as charming, visually appealing characters full of mischief and charm.

The additional content is superb. A detailed map precedes the story allowing children to visualise Dixie and Percy's adventure (and maps are always very popular with children!), and also question and answers sessions with Dixie, an array of suggestions of games to play on a car journey and a quiz section which acts as an introduction to comprehension activities.

I am already a huge Dixie O'Day fan. Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy have come up trumps. Dixie O'Day In the Fast Lane is a brilliant first chapter book for younger readers. Exciting and appropriate for the target age range, it would make a lovely gift or keepsake for children aged five-eight. I particularly like the array of additional features that set it apart from other books.

Dixie O'Day In the Fast Lane is out now, published by The Bodley Head, an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers.

10/10
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIXIE O'DAY, 23 Aug 2013
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
DIXIE O’DAY: IN THE FAST LANE puts a charming spin on Wacky Races! Dixie is a real gentleman, and Percy is the perfect sidekick. This first in a series chapter book takes us on an all-day race from Didsworth to Dodsworth! We see Dixie and Percy run into all kinds of trouble – from stalling on a railway track to hanging from a cliff. We see their arch enemy, Lou Ella, come to her own misfortune when she unleashes a truckload of sheep! We see the kindness of a family, the help of a sweet aunt and the mischief of two brothers.
This is a fun, exciting adventure, illustrated with wonderfully lively and bold art. The black, white and red hues, checkered patterns and polka dots work perfectly with the story and add to its charm. The details are fantastic. There are many wonderful extras, such as an interview with Dixie, Percy’s favourite car games and the first chapter from the second book in this series. DIXIE O’DAY: IN THE FAST LANE is the first book from mother and daughter, Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy, and I’m looking forward to Dixie’s next adventure already!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and funny, 22 Aug 2013
This review is from: Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane (Hardcover)
Read in one sitting with my 6 year olds. Reminiscent of the fantastic Inspector Croc books. Fun to refer the story back to the map at the beginning of the book. Lots of fun extras at the end too.
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Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane
Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes (Hardcover - 8 Aug 2013)
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