'Dan, the Taxi Man' will appeal to little musicians and future drivers

You hate being ignored.

If somebody's doing something fun, you want to be part of it, too. If they're going somewhere, you need to be strapped in the car seat. You want to be included on trips, games, secrets, ideas, and, well, pretty much everything. When it comes to interesting things, you're in on it or else!

You might not realize it, but lots of people think that way, too. And in the new book "Dan, The Taxi Man" by Eric Ode, illustrated by Kent Culotta, the most important one in a group almost gets missed.

Walk down the streets of the Big City and you might see Dan, the Taxi Man, in his yellow cab with his little gray dog in the seat beside him.

Dan's always the guy people call when they need a ride, and since there's going to be a big concert tonight, he's heading out of town to pick up the band. If you want to ride along, you'd better climb in while there's still room!

Dan's first stop is at a pretty orange house. Out runs Maureen, and she's carrying a round instrument that shakes and crashes. There's still room, so you'd better get in the taxi quick.

Then Dan, the Taxi Man, has to pick up Tyrone, who's also in the band. He brings a curvy squealy instrument with him, and he climbs into the yellow cab. If you want to ride with the band, you'd better get in soon!

At a gray house on the hill, Dan, the Taxi Man, picks up Star. Then he stops and Claire enters the cab with a big round package and two sticks. It's getting awfully crowded are you sure you want to ride along?

Dan, the Taxi Man finally picks up Ace and they zoom to The Rockin' Joint, where the big show is about to start. People are lined up outside. They're very excited, so the band members hurry in and start to play their songs.

But wait a minute. Something's missing. SomeONE is missing. Who could it be, and where is he?

On behalf of your child, I have a request to make: Don't even think about reading this book aloud without the correct accompanying sound effects. "Dan, The Taxi Man" is cute, but it'll be so much cuter with the right noises.

Fortunately, author Eric Ode wrote those noises directly into this catchy little story so kids can be sure that adults won't miss 'em.

But that's not the only likeable part of this book: Written in delightfully simple verse, it contains a few gentle surprises and a richly diverse, sweetly unexpected group of characters illustrated by Kent Culotta. That makes this a story kids will be more than fare-ly wild about.

Find this book, put it on the shelf, but don't expect it to stay there long because your child will want re-reads, often. For little musicians, future drivers, or any 2- to 5-year-old who loves fun books, "Dan, the Taxi Man" is so cute, it's hard to ignore.

View runs Terri Schlichenmeyer's children's book reviews weekly.