Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems

Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems

J. Patrick Lewis , Douglas Florian
Illustrator:  Jeremy Holmes 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 to 10
Random House, 2014   ISBN: 978-0375866906

When somebody talks about a truck or a bus, you pretty much know what they are talking about. Of course a bus might be a yellow school bus or a red double-decker London bus, but it is still a bus. When it comes to cars though, you can never quite know what to expect because cars come in so many sizes, shapes, and colors. A car might be a race car, or an antique car. It might have a huge sign saying “PIZZA” on its roof, or it might be low slung and have wild looking fins and huge headlights. In this book we are going to take a “futuristic sneak preview” at some “wacky” cars from “fender to fin,” so hold onto your hat and let’s take “a spin.”

   If you drive around today there is a good chance that you will see one of those two-person Smart cars that are delightfully small and cunning looking. Imagine what it would be like to drive a car that is even smaller, one that is “itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny.” This is the mini-mini-car and though it is a wonderful car, there is a “snag” to owning such a tiny vehicle: the driver “can’t get out the door.”

   At the other end of the spectrum there is the Giant Bookmobile. Fueled by “imagination power,” this car is driven by the Gingerbread Man and it travels to every block where children get on so that they can dive into books and comics.

   If you think this sounds strange, then you should see the Dragonwagon with his wings, its spiked back, and its sharp claws. The Dragonwagon has toothy jaws under its hood and it is such a “scary, scaly mean machine” that no one dares to “provoke this dragon’s wrath.”

   Readers with imaginations are going to love the deliciously odd, bizarre and sometimes even ridiculous looking cars in this book. Throughout the book the poems has been paired with artwork that is full of clever and creative details.