by J. Patrick Lewis & Douglas Florian
Jeremy Holmes, illustrator
Schwartz & Wade Books 1/07/2014
Age 4 to 8 40 pages
“Someday our fantastic cars might look like cool dark chocolate bars, banana splits, hot dogs, or fish—or any kind of ride you wish. A dragonwagon! A Tyrannosaurus wreck! A Sloppy-floppy-nonstop-jalopy! Zoom into this book to find twenty-one zany creations from the wild imaginations of U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, bestselling children’s author-illustrator Douglas Florian, and award-winning illustrator Jeremy Holmes”
“Train mean train, bus means bus, / Truck means truck to most of us. / So auto ought to mean, you see, / Auto automatically.”
Never having been a huge poetry fan, mainly because I did not understand it, children’s poetry books like today’s title, Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems are the reason why I not only enjoy poetry, but even understanding is beginning to take hold. Crazy Car Poems could not have any better poets and illustrators than it has, and it shows. The poems are not only wonderful to read aloud, rolling off the tongue smoothly—except when laughing, which is the other great thing about Crazy Car Poems: the poems are hilarious and the illustrations are fabulous, or maybe the poems are fabulous and the illustrations are hilarious. Either way, or both ways, Crazy Car Poems is fantastic. Kids, of all ages, will love this book, especially the male species.
If you like the feel and look of a brand new car, with its clean interior, shiny body, strong chassis, oh, and that brand-new car smell, Crazy Car Poems will thrill you, because it has all those features and more. These automobiles rhyme, sing, and beat to a perfect cadence. And Crazy Car Poems are the wave of the future. Forget hybrids, electronics, sonic boom stereos, and cars that park themselves, for these cars need none of that old-fashioned nonsense to drive like a dream. Forget the Smart Car. Get a Mini-Mini-Car.
“I’m in my little motorcar—
Skinny skinny skinny.
“I squeeze inside and then I ride
Some more and more and more.
But I don’t brag, for there’s a snag:
I can’t get out the door.”
Daringly, I would like to suggest that the second line would sound better, roll off the tongue better, and read aloud better had it been “I’m in my little motorcar—My mini-mini-mini-car,” but it would ruin the simple 4-line ABCB scheme of the poem (as I said, beginning to understand poetry). Douglas Florian, one of the Poem-Mobile Czars, built the Mini-Mini-Car. He also engineered The Fish Car, The Dragonwagon, and the Rubber-Band Car. Mr. Florian builds green cars, gastronomical anomalies, and if speed is what you like, The Supersonic Ionic Car will cruise a mere 500 mile-per-hour.
There is a second poet of high caliber in Crazy Car Poems you probably have heard of prior to today. J. Patrick Lewis, the former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, built models of his soon-to-be-famous automobiles from his 23rd-Century Motors where gas and oil are long forgotten perils. One of my favorite poems and autos, The Balloon Car gives you a workout and one of the smoothest rides you will ever encounter, for a while anyway.
“My daddy drives a car that floats
an inch above the street—
a hundred colorful balloons
tied to a bucket seat.
“And once he blows his car up,
Daddy never wants to stop.
Buy boy, does he get mad at me
When I call out—“Hey, POP!”
Girls have not been forgotten. Our crazy car poets did not neglect the feminine side of autos. Mr. Lewis showcases The High-Heeled Car. A size-84 it may be, but it is no longer just for old ladies with matching homes. Mr. Florian captured the romantic side of cars with The Love Car. No, not the love bug, The Love Car, a stylish heart-shaped, red two-seater, with a custom vase.
Not to be outdone by the poets, Jeremy Holmes adds his artistic flair to each car, giving the vehicles the classy touches they all need to shine on the showroom floors of the future. Imagine a Fish Car without color, water, or fish to swim amongst? The Giant Bookmobile of Tomorrow has fancy fonts on the spines of its books befitting Olivia, Little Red Riding Hood, and most importantly Poems by Edgar Allan Poe.
Without color, The Paper Car’s ballpoint pen would not be noticeable as the front bumper. The perfectly straight lines of the paper require Mr. Holmes’s steady hand. The Baɔʞwaяds Car needs to keep its back fender visible to its headlights and would drive in peace if not for the crazed driver worried the car might crash into itself, a distinct possibility without Mr. Holme’s winding track.
How dull these futuristic cars would have been if not for the splash of colors and the flair of the brush. Rendered in watercolor and pencils, Mr. Holmes added depth to each of the visionary automobiles the two distinguished poets built with words of steel, paper, grass, and other materials. While the autos are not yet available beyond the covers of Crazy Car Poems kids can dream while reading the poetry that keeps delivering car after car.
This imaginary, wild, out-of-this-world, and sometimes old-fashioned Crazy Car Poems will keep kids in stitches, even reluctant readers. I believe these kids will find the Crazy Car Poems to be a warm book for this cold, snowy, unceasing winter. Teachers will appreciate the poetry, imagination, and illustrative abilities of these three creative geniuses. There is no other place on Earth these wondrous cars can be found except in Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems . While the autos are not yet available beyond the covers of Crazy Car Poems kids can dream while reading the poetry that keeps delivering car after car. Kids, drive this book out of your local bookstore as fast as the parents will allow!
Discover the details about Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems HERE.
Meet the poets:
Schwartz & Wade Books is an imprint of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
POEM-MOBILES: CRAZY CAR POEMS. Text copyright © 2014 by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglass Florian. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Jeremy Holmes. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, NY.
NONFICTION BOOK #3 for 23014 and the Nonfiction Book Challenge at Kid Lit Frenzy.
SMALL FRY SAFARI 2014 – Entry 8 play on words in the title (“Poem-Mobiles”)