Crazy Cars Books…and Crazier Sounds

Lynn:  Many preschoolers love books about cars and 3-year-old Henry from our focus group must have 90%  of them.  I think he and I have read through them so many times that we both have them memorized.  So I think I can be forgiven for not getting too excited when I open a new book delivery and pull out another car book.  Happily, I have two new books about cars that will make even the most car-weary librarian or parent smile.  And trust me – at least one car book-loving kid adores these too.  And for an added distinction, let me add that all of these fun books have a shared attraction – a focus on car sounds that make these extra fun to read aloud.

cars goThe first is And the Cars Go…(Candlewick 2013) by William Bee.  The cars aren’t so much going here as they are sitting impatiently in a traffic jam of epic proportion.  As the policeman walks through the jam, he passes an wild assortment of crazy vehicles.  Each vehicle and its passengers is displayed on a bright two-page spread and drawn with loving and hilarious detail complete with a crazy assortment of gears, cogs, brackets, and pipes.  As the patrolman passes each one, the refrain repeats with a fun new sound appropriate to the truck or car or bus.

And the race car goes,

Pop pop pop,

Bang bang, hisssssss

Each picture is filled with comedic details that reward careful inspection and the source of the traffic jam and its resolution is a delight.  Great fun for lap time or story times.

Zoom ZoomCindy: Cars and trucks and busses, oh MY! Those aren’t the only things that go.  Author Robert Burleigh and illustrator Tad Carpenter roll in with Zoom! Zoom! Sounds of Things That Go in the City (Simon & Schuster 2014). The city wakes up with garbage trucks and joggers and ZZZZZzzzz’s turn to “Hustle Bustle! Rush-Rush-Run!” Ambulances and firetrucks, limousines, cement trucks, and double decker busses add to the congestion of vans and pickups and convertibles. Elevated trains and subways move many people and skateboards and motorcycles carry just one each….”Rocket! Rocket! Zip-Zip-Zip!” And no city is complete without a taxi, especially for evening treks to the theater….

Hail that taxi
zooming by.
Let’s go, Cabbie,
Let it fly.

City hopping.
Neon flashing.
Jive and jazz.

Party time, City!
“Boogie! Boogie! Woogie-Woogie-Woogie!”

The city quiets down again in the wee hours of the night making this a bedtime story as well (once you get all the boogie-woogies out!) Carpenter’s happy illustrations with smiling bumpers and eyeball headlights bring to mind vintage children’s books, reminding us of the timelessness of transportation titles. Burleigh’s bouncy rhymes and zippy sounds are perfect for storytime or laptime reading. Young listeners will probably have a car or truck in their hand while you read and reread this one. Zoom! Zoom!





About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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