Saturday at the Garage by Nancy Hundal & Angela Pan (Illustrations)

If you are searching for descriptive language as mentor text, look no further. I've read this at least three times and each go round I find more of Nancy Hundal's lines and phrases to swoon over. Add to this the glorious artwork by Angela Pan. She captures light and sets it to illuminating the pages. Put it all together and this picture book welcomes us into enchantment. 

Be prepared for a gentle transport into a past era. The creators take the reader into a time and place when technology and life was simpler. The tale is based on Hundal’s memories of working with her father in their family garage. Older readers like myself will remember garages like this one here. 

The young girl with her bouncy ponytail reminds me of Nancy. I confess to calling her friend. This might mean my review is a wee bit biased, although honestly, I can't remember when I last read such beautifully lyrical text.  

Each Saturday, from dawn to dusk, a young girl spends the day working with her father. Gradually he teaches her what she will need to know should she decide to take the garage on. Love illuminates this portrayal of father daughter relationship. 

The girl learns much by working with her dad. She is able to work the till, make change, pump gas, identify different tools, and keep them in order. Working with the different customers she learns kindness, patience, courtesy and humour. 

Early in the day, Gordie, one of the regulars, brings her candy, and suggests there is an elf in the garage. As she goes about her duties, she is on the lookout for it. But at the end of the day she acknowledges, “the only magic at this garage is my dad’s fingers tinkering engines back to purring.” 

Then, “when the sun has slid all the way from the top of the sky to the edge of world, it’s time to go’” As they prepare to leave for the day, the girl imagines that someday, her hands will look like her father’s.

Saturday at the Garage was published by Midtown Press on February 18, 2020. You can find more books by Nancy Hundal here. To learn more about Angela Pan, go here

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