Riding In My Car

Riding In My Car

5.0 1
by Woody Guthrie

Click clack, open up the door, girls;
Click clack, open up the door, boys;

Front door, back door, clickety clack,
Take you riding in my car.

Inspired by his love of Woody Guthrie's Riding In My Car, award winning illustrator Scott Menchin invites readers on an exciting cross-country road trip with a family of dogs!


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Click clack, open up the door, girls;
Click clack, open up the door, boys;

Front door, back door, clickety clack,
Take you riding in my car.

Inspired by his love of Woody Guthrie's Riding In My Car, award winning illustrator Scott Menchin invites readers on an exciting cross-country road trip with a family of dogs!

This interactive novelty format features pull-tabs, pop-ups, and lift-the-flaps on every page, and makes kids feel like they're really coming along for the ride, visiting some of America's most notable landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and more! Hidden beneath each flap are fun American facts for the child readers and interesting biographical details about Woody Guthrie for adults.

The entire song will be hosted on www.ridinginmycarbook.com so readers can read and sing along!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A cartoon dog family drives from New York City to San Francisco in a wood-paneled convertible to the lyrics of Woody Guthrie’s “Riding in My Car.” As the dogs visit landmarks like the White House and Mt. Rushmore, bits of trivia are concealed by flaps. Menchin pays homage to Guthrie himself: the dogs drive past his childhood home in Okemah, Okla., and the lyrics to “This Land Is Your Land” appear throughout as well. Fun touches (a wheel lets six desert animals cross the road) and crisp photo-collage art make this a lively trip; Guthrie’s song is available on an accompanying Web site for read- or sing-along. Ages 5–up. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Riding in My Car:
A New York Book Show Merit Award Winner

* "An affectionate tribute to a great American songsmith."—Kirkus (starred review)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A classic song is given new life in this interactive picture book. Fun photo-collage and cartoon images follow a family of dogs on a road trip from New York City to San Francisco. Each spread includes flaps to lift for a lot of trivia about Woody Guthrie and America. Readers will learn that the White House has a pool, a movie theater, and a bowling alley, and that each head on Mt. Rushmore is as tall as a six-story building. A few pages include "This Land Is Your Land" lyrics. The multiple tabs and flaps on each spread make the pictures lively, but also make them less practical for circulation. Readers are directed to the book's website, which provides a link to the Smithsonian where they can stream Woody Guthrie singing the original song and has free activity sheets designed to offer ideas for family excursions.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY
Kirkus Reviews
A canine family takes a road trip across the United States, with the titular song's cheerful nonsense for a soundtrack. Menchin slips in occasional lines from "This Land Is Your Land" but takes his tourists from east to west rather than the other way. He opens with a departure from New York City, closes with a lively hoedown beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and in between pauses for glimpses of the White House, Mount Rushmore, farms, highways, mountains and desert. In keeping with Guthrie's free-association lyrics—"Trees and the houses walk along. / Trees and the houses walk along. / A truck and a car and a garbage can, / take you riding in my car"—the illustrations overlay composite color photos of each sight with raised wheel- or tab-driven cartoon scenes. As the floppy-eared travelers stop to marvel, beneath glued flaps readers can find such random snippets of background as the length of Route 66 or tiny photos of Guthrie and his childhood home. An affectionate tribute to a great American songsmith as well as an impressionistic snapshot of a land made for you and me, fitted out with appropriately homespun movable parts. (Pop-up/picture book. 5-8)
Pamela Paul
Children primed by car- and kindergarten sing-alongs will especially enjoy this pop-up rendition of the song…With pull-tabs, flaps, spinning wheels and other interactive gee-gaws, children have plenty to play with as parents warble along.
—The New York Times

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Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years


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Riding in My Car 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite Woody Guthrie’s "Riding In My Car" is a pop-up book. The illustrations were done by talented Scott Menchin. The outside cover begs to be opened with a roadster-looking car filled with “beatniks”. There are four passengers, one with a goatee. The car is 3 dimensional. I love to travel and wanted to open the doors and join in the fun of seeing the country. The Statue of Liberty is waving her torch as the Presidents of Mt. Rushmore look regal, and the White House appears stately in the background. As I opened the cover I found the words of the song “Take me riding in the car”. There is a guitar ready to open with a bit of information about song writer Woody Guthrie. I did not realize he was the author of “This Land Is Your Land.” Being a bit of a beatnik/hippie I found myself humming as I continued to peruse this book. The characters look a little like beatnik dogs. In the back seat one is playing a guitar while the other is playing a harmonica. Pulling the tab makes the occupants sway to the music. Continuing through the book the reader will find the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and various other highlights of Washington DC. There is a door to open proving more information about the White House and one reveals a sightseer with a camera. Each turn of the page reveals a different aspect of the USA. Horses, tractors and cows abound representing the rural areas. It appears the travelers had car trouble around Mt. Rushmore. The clover leaf of Route 66 in Oklahoma is sure to excite the reader. My favorite page was the one where the sightseers were fishing. The group travel until they reach the Golden Gate Bridge. As the song says: “This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land.” This is a delightful book sure to please everyone. I suggest this book for adults 50 and over so that they can share it with their grandchildren. I shared mine with two grandchildren and they were delighted to learn the songs of my past and to experience the country through a different perspective.