Kirkus reviews - Tip and Tucker Road Trip
Kirkus (Jan 2019)
This beginning reader introduces children to two hamsters with quite different personalities. Part of the I Am A Reader line, this first outing for Tip and Tucker opens in a pet shop, where Mr. Lopez has come to purchase a pet. Tucker, a larger tan hamster, is excited and tries to get Tip, a smaller gray-and-white hamster, interested. But Tip is the opposite of curious, adventurous Tucker, and he hides in his plastic igloo. Mr. Lopez purchases both hamsters, some food, and a cage. Tip gets even more nervous when the man tells Rosa (whether proprietor or clerk is unclear) that the hamsters’ new home will be noisy; he doesn’t like noisy. The trip to the car is bumpy, and the car ride is more of the same. But Tucker likes the look of their new home: It’s got blocks, jump ropes, balls, and lots of books. Mr. Lopez’s parting words raise more questions for the two—"See you tomorrow. Your first day of school!"—and set up the sequel. Short sentences in a fairly large font and repetition help make the text of this rather bland plot manageable for confident beginning readers, while Ceolin’s adorable illustrations give children clues and nicely show the contrast between nervous Tip and reassuring Tucker. Mr. Lopez and Rosa are probably both Latinx; he with light skin and glasses and she with brown skin. Tip and Tucker are not Elephant and Piggie, but they’re cute and provide good practice for new readers.