If I Built a Car

If I Built a Car

4.6 10
by Chris Van Dusen
     
 

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If I built a car, it'd be totally new!

Here are a few of the things that I'd do. . . .

Young Jack is giving an eye-opening tour of the car he'd like to build. There's a snack bar, a pool, and even a robot named Robert to act as chauffeur. With Jack's soaring imagination in the driver's seat, we're deep-sea diving one minute and flying high above

Overview

If I built a car, it'd be totally new!

Here are a few of the things that I'd do. . . .

Young Jack is giving an eye-opening tour of the car he'd like to build. There's a snack bar, a pool, and even a robot named Robert to act as chauffeur. With Jack's soaring imagination in the driver's seat, we're deep-sea diving one minute and flying high above traffic the next in this whimsical, tantalizing take on the car of the future. Illustrations packed with witty detail, bright colors, and chrome recall the fabulous fifties and an era of classic American automobiles. Infectious rhythm and clever invention make this wonderful read-aloud a launch pad for imaginative fun.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rhyming couplets and illustrations in colors as shiny and sleek as the four wheels they celebrate present the musings of a boy growing up in the placid 1950s suburbs. As Jack, his father and the family dog drive by trim lawns and plastic pink flamingos in a red, wood-panelled station wagon (that "is OK," according to Jack, "Nothing great. Nothing grand"), the young hero regales his staid-looking father with a description of the car of his dreams. Next, Jack lies on a shag rug in his bedroom, an issue of Popular Science on the bedside table, as he studies his toy Wienermobile, the inspiration for his own "spectacular car"-which, on the subsequent spread, seems to magically appear in the driveway. From there, the story takes off: Jack gives his amazed father and eager pooch a tour of his vehicle, showing off the "flush fender skirts and retractable wings," enclosed fireplace, swimming pool and snack-bar, and introduces the automated driver, Robert the Robot. The boy then takes his dad for a ride through the neighborhood and onto the lake ("The fenders will float like a catamaran") and underwater ("Just hit submerge!") before heading back to town, where a crowd of neighbors applauds. The finale returns readers to the opening scene, where a smiling Jack proudly tells his father, "If I built a car, that's just what I'd do." Energetic verse and jubilant, action-packed artwork make this tale of a young inventor's fantastic daydream a joy ride. Ages 3-up. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What boy would not like to design and build his fantasy car? In this title, Jack does just that after sitting in the backseat of his father's automobile. The illustrations—inspired by the fifties—make a wonderful backdrop to the text. Boys and girls alike will personally connect to Jack's imagination and inspiration in designing the ideal car. Not only will this automobile be made for American roads, but for water, under-water, and in-the-sky adventures. Other imaginative amenities that Jack includes in his car are a fireplace, fish tank, instant snack bar, fresh aromas, and—instead of cruise control—a robot to do the driving for you. Safety is not forgotten when Jack proposes the use of "polymer gel" to act as a cushion absorber for any dents and to add to the comfort of passengers. This cleverly entertaining book makes a great read aloud due to the rhyming couplets on each page. Children could always supplement Jack's imaginative designs or create their own new design of an automobile after reading this book. 2005, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 3 to 8.
—Rosa Roberts
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-With descriptions and a rhyme scheme clearly inspired by Dr. Seuss, a little boy relates all of the wonderful things about the car he plans to design, including safety features, a pool, a robot driver, and the ability to go underwater and fly through the air. The rhyme scheme works well enough, although at times the rhythm falters. The artwork is the real draw here. The brightly colored, crisp, cartoon-style illustrations, reminiscent of the Jetsons, are likely to keep viewers' attention. The full-bleed pictures are animated and detailed, and the boy's dog, which appears in each picture, ties the images together nicely. This slight story may attract young fans of vehicles, but readers looking for a plot will be disappointed in what is essentially an extensive laundry list of the automobile's attributes.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Energetic verse and jubilant, action-packed artwork make this tale of a young inventor?s fantastic daydream a joy ride. (Publishers Weekly)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101653906
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/05/2005
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
961,341
File size:
28 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Energetic verse and jubilant, action-packed artwork make this tale of a young inventor's fantastic daydream a joy ride. (Publishers Weekly)

Meet the Author

Chris Van Dusen lives in Camden, Maine.

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If I Built a Car 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!  I never get tired of it.  We received the book when my older son was 5.  He is 8 now and still likes it.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this book! Chris Van Dusen is awesome. I just ordered two more of his books. My kids (5 & 7) love them all. 
WritingReader More than 1 year ago
Yes, something can be futuristic and nostalgic at the same time! Remember those flying cars you thought you would have by the time you were an adult? Were you hoping to live like the Jetsons? Well, indulge your fantasy some more as you look through these pages. Really fun, with very appealing colors. With a picture book, it's important to have a book you don't mind reading again and again - because your child will insist. This is one you will always enjoy looking at.
AJH_Mum More than 1 year ago
Fantastic illustrations, imaginative prose. I love the book but more importantly my 5 year old does - he builds on the imaginative ideas and loves to finish the rhymes. We have the circus ship by the same author - fabulous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ad143 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic book! My two year old daughter loved it and we reread it countless times!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is my son's favorite, he's 3. It is so much fun to read. Camping spree with Mr. Magee is also a must read. The only problem I have is that those books are all he wants me to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My kids both love this book! They want me to read it over and over again. The rhyming is great and the illustrations are amazing. I need to get more of Chris VanDusen's books, although they will also require multiple readings at a sitting!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! They rhyming text is really fun to read out loud. The illustrations are so rich and retro and full of detail. My kids just love it!