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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems, written by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian with pictures by Jeremy Holmes. Schwartz & Wade, Random House. 2014. $19.99 ages 5 and up

"That`s not brown paint,
It`s chocolate fudge.
And here and there,
A whipped-cream smudge.
The light on top`s
A real cherry!
They sell this car
At Motor Dairy -
This Model T(spoon`s)
One sweet deal.
Besides, it`s got
Put two very clever poets together to pen a collection of poems that honor 'crazy cars' and you are in for a great deal of fun. This is a book that will have strong 'appeal' for all...full of lively language, flights of fanciful imagination, mobile oddities, and packed with wordplay (a not uncommon expectation considering the poets and their reputation for such).

Their cars of the future are crazy indeed, and inspired. They find life in many recognizable forms, including the High Heel Car, the Bathtub Car, the Hot Dog Car and my personal favorite, the Mini-Mini Car! There is no stopping these gentlemen once they get started...and it's the same for their wacky and wittily designed vehicles.

"Balloon Car

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.
But boy, does he get mad at me
When I call out - "Hey, Pop!"

The possibilities are seemingly endless. Read this once, and then read it again. See what happens when young listeners are allowed to let their imaginations run free...what type of crazy car might they dream up to take them to sea, to space, or to the next town? It is perfect for young readers...I can hear a poem coming on...order this one today and share it often. Your children and students will almost certainly be inspired to create their own wacky cars. Quite the journey for all involved.
Jeremy Holmes has created his own souped-up version of the poems. The art notes state that he uses pencil and watercolor, that were then digitally colored to create the detailed spreads that stretch across the pages. His color palette is fresh, and ever-changing. The pages are busy, in keeping with the motion created in the poems themselves. The table of contents is stellar, including a blueprint for each of the upcoming vehicles. Tire-tracked endpapers add to the appeal, and promise a good deal of driving fun!

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