Everything I Know about Cars

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What's Your Car I.Q.?

The fastest kind of car:
A. A jet-powered dragster
B. An invisible spy car
C. Any car that is red and has flames painted on the sides
Cars were invented by:
A. Karl Benz
B. Professor Flubber
C. Two horses in Ohio who got tired of carrying people around all day
Souped-up cars are made with what kind of soup?
A. Chicken noodle
B. Pea
C. No actual soup is used
Answers inside!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having taught all that he could about Pirates and Monsters, author/artist Tom Lichtenheld now reveals Everything I Know About Cars: A Collection of Made-Up Facts, Educated Guesses, and Silly Pictures About Cars, Trucks, and Other Zoomy Things. The opening spread sets the tone: "This book will not explain why you have to ride round in a clunky old minivan while your best friend gets to zoom around... in a fancy red sports car." Beginning in the days when cavemen attempted to put steering wheels on animals, the author then imagines a future in which kids design the cars, showing a hotrod with a playroom on the second tier. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Full of wacky, slapstick humor this lively offering is endlessly entertaining. As the author explains, the book is "a big traffic jam of mostly made-up cars" that you should not use as a repair manual. It begins with a tongue-in-cheek "history" of the invention of cars. Prehistoric cavemen tried to put wheels on animals figuring the animals already had "car stuff" like horns and leather seats. The ancient Egyptians and Vikings gave it a try, and "cars were finally invented by two horses who got tired of carrying people around all the time." Colorful cartoon illustrations with lots of corny wordplay add to the hilarity. Boys, especially, will enjoy the "human-gas-powered car" and will pour endlessly over the silly graphics. Varied print sizes and styles make for an antic read. There is even an amusingly useful lesson on how to draw cars at the end of the book that should inspire some creative artwork. Art teachers with squirmy children, take note. Funny endpapers add to the overall manic effect. Just the ticket for today's comic loving, computer graphic savvy kids. 2005, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 6 to 9.
—Quinby Frank
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Like Lichtenheld's Everything I Know about Monsters (S & S, 2002), this pseudo-nonfiction book presents a wealth of made-up stuff. It's chock-full of fun fake facts about automobiles, such as "Red cars are the fastest kind" and horses invented cars (hence the term horsepower). Other sections focus on the history of motor travel (beginning with cavemen putting steering wheels on animals), how cars work ("the transmission-transmits; the suspension-suspends"), and how to be a passenger ("Your next duty is to test the power windows. Down. Up. Down"). The book ends with tips for kids on how to design and draw their own vehicles. The conversational text is plentiful, but is made less intimidating by the plethora of wacky cartoon illustrations. Using ink, colored pencil, gouache, and watercolor, Lichtenheld depicts everything from an ancient Egyptian dune buggy to a "Heli-Hat" to a detailed map of a family road trip. The illustrations and the narrative have just enough body and potty humor to amuse readers but not gross them out. The result is Mad Magazine, Jr. meets Auto Repair for Dummies. The mix of madcap illustrations, irreverent text, and kid-friendly humor is sure to attract even the most reluctant readers.-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"100% fact-free," but "Chock-a-block full of stuff!," this does for cars and car travel what Everything I Know About Pirates (2000) did for pirates-which is to say, puts a maniacally silly spin on every common myth, misconception, and factoid the over-caffeinated author can conjure up. Explaining that people have always "liked the idea of going fast while sitting on their butts," Lichtenheld introduces such historical figures as ahead-of-his-time Viking inventor Leif Spring; supplies a quick tour of automotive principles ("Some other car parts you should know about are the transmission, which transmits; the suspension, which suspends; and the pistons, which, well . . . they work real hard too"); teaches proper back-seat "passenger duties"; and finally, offers a few useful pointers on drawing nifty imaginary cars. Replete with appropriately daffy cartoon illustrations, here's a gassed-up laff-fest that will keep readers roaring back for more. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689843822
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 529,122
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 1060L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Lichtenheld has illustrated several New York Times bestselling picture books, including Shark vs. Train; Duck! Rabbit!; and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. He lives with his wife in Illinois. Visit him at TomLichtenheld.com.

Tom Lichtenheld has illustrated several New York Times bestselling picture books, including Shark vs. Train; Duck! Rabbit!; and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. He lives with his wife in Illinois. Visit him at TomLichtenheld.com.

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