My Side of the Car


Wishful thinking and a wonderful daughter-and-dad rapport drive this charming collaboration between Kate Feiffer and her father, Jules Feiffer.

Sadie has wanted to go the zoo forever, but something always gets in the way. Not today! Today they are finally on their way, and nothing can stop them - not a broken arm or a lost dog or a surprise visit. Not even her dad’s observation: "Sadie, it’s raining." Because when Sadie looks out her window, not only is it not raining on her ...

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Wishful thinking and a wonderful daughter-and-dad rapport drive this charming collaboration between Kate Feiffer and her father, Jules Feiffer.

Sadie has wanted to go the zoo forever, but something always gets in the way. Not today! Today they are finally on their way, and nothing can stop them - not a broken arm or a lost dog or a surprise visit. Not even her dad’s observation: "Sadie, it’s raining." Because when Sadie looks out her window, not only is it not raining on her side of the car, the sun is shining and people are watering their lawns and wearing sunglasses. Even when the road on Dad’s side starts looking more like a river, Sadie can barely see a raindrop fall on her side of the car. This warmhearted tale of a child’s optimism and a father’s loving patience is guaranteed to tickle the funny bone, no matter the weather.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This father-and-daughter team's account of a family car trip, inspired by real-life family history, is one continuous smile of a story. It's narrated by Sadie, who details the mishaps that have prevented their family from reaching the zoo in the past ("One day when we were supposed to go to the zoo, my mom tripped over a toy fire engine. So we went to the hospital instead of the zoo"), then describes a new dilemma as she and her father try again. "Sadie, it's raining," her father says. But Sadie's not giving in so easily, insisting that it's not raining on her side of the car. "People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car," she thinks to herself. Feiffer's sweet and loopy watercolor-and-pencil drawings follow Sadie's imaginings and explanations for wet car windows ("People on my side of the car are watering their lawns"); their arrival at the zoo is almost beside the point. Sadie's cheerful sass and her father's obvious respect for and indulgence of the force of her imagination make this a keeper. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Candace Deisley
Kate tells a story about a trip she and her father actually took. She really wanted to visit the animals at the zoo, but it was least on her father's side of the car. Kate looked out the window and saw people watering their lawns, walking dogs, playing with balloons, while the windshield wipers worked hard. Her father suggests they postpone this trip as the weather is so inclement, but Kate insists it is NOT raining on her side of the car, until she admits it is. As they prepare to return home disappointed, Dad realizes that the rain has stopped, and the visit to the animals is realized. The wonderful, whimsical watercolors show us the feelings of the two characters, and make the reader understand Kate's mistaken insistence on fair skies. This is a wonderful story of bonding, and wishing, and a father's comprehension of the feelings of his young daughter. It makes for a wonderful story time book. Reviewer: Candace Deisley
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—"My dad and I are going to the zoo," Sadie declares on the first page. In the past, various mishaps have gotten in the way of this excursion, but, this time, "Nothing can stop us," she says and believes. But soon raindrops start to fall, and Dad says, "Sadie, it's raining. We can't go to the zoo." Sadie claims, "It's not raining on my side of the car." This line of wishful thinking becomes grander and funnier as they get closer and closer and the (real) world around them gets wetter and wetter. Even so, a happy ending is in store for the zoo-going pair. Told in an effectively simple first-person voice, the story is enhanced by the wonderful pictures, watercolor and pencil drawings with expressive lines and beautiful blobs of color. Another fun book from a notable father-daughter team, this one is based on a childhood memory.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews

An endearing father-daughter episode based on family history. Lots of family stories are of interest only to those who lived them. But if your father just happens to be a brilliant illustrator (and if you're a darned good writer yourself) you might find that sharing a childhood memory is a great way to create an engaging, imaginative and humorous picture book. Sadie, the narrator, briefly describesher family'spreviously fruitless efforts to visit the zoo.There's the time her mom tripped and broke her foot on the way to the car (they wound up at the hospital) and the time her grandparents visited unexpectedly (they wound up at the museum). Small wonder, then,that she's not going to let a little bad weather stand in her way. When Sadie's patient papa points out that it's started to drizzle, then rain in earnest, Sadie repeatedlyinsists it's not raining on her side. Thedeadpan tone of thetext heightens the humor of the father-daughter dialogue, while the elder Feiffer's antic illustrations play up the ridiculousness of Sadie's increasingly firm (and utterly unfounded) description of the landscape. Forced at last to admit that it'spouring buckets, Sadie generously decides that she doesn't want her dad to get wet and gives in. Luckily things start to look up partway homeand the happy ending features the beginning of their zoo adventure. Utterly charming.(Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763644055
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 625,150
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Feiffer is the author of several children’s books, including Double Pink, illustrated by Bruce Ingman; President Pennybaker and My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life, both illustrated by Diane Goode; The Problem with Puddles, illustrated by Tricia Tusa; and Henry the Dog with No tail, illustrated by her dad, Jules Feiffer. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Jules Feiffer has won a Pulitzer Prize, an Obie Award, and an Oscar. His cartoons have appeared in The Village Voice, The New Yorker, the New York Times, Esquire, and The Nation. He illustrated The Phantom tollbooth by Norman Juster and is the author-illustrator of several award-winning picture books. Jules Feiffer lives in New York City.

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