Children's LiteratureIn 1935, an engineer named Ferdinand Porsche designed a car that everybody could buy. It was called the Volkswagen, which means "people's car" in German. The design was quite unique. It was round and small and it's engine was in the rear. Because it looked like a bug it was called a beetle. When World War II started in 1939, the production of the Beetle ceased. Following the war the production started up again. It was first imported to the United States in 1949. My girlfriend, Joan Carpenter, was one of the first owners of the Volkswagen in Jersey City, NJ. We use to ride around town in her little gray Beetle and boy did we get the stares. When it was time for Joan to go to college, off she went with her Beetle like so many of the young people who went to college during the 1960's and 1970's. Over the years the VW became popular in the movies and as a racecar. Walt Disney produced a movie called "The Love Bug" which included a car named Herbie. Changes were made to the engine over time, but the basic shape stayed the same. The last Beetle was sold in the United States in 1980. However, around the world the Beetle lives on. In 1998, a new version of the Beetle was introduced. I wonder if Joan's children are riding around town in the new Beetle? This book is easy to read, has vibrant pictures and provides a concise history of the Volkswagen Beetle. This is part of the "Classic Cars" series of the Imagination Library. 2002, Garth Stevens Publishing, Ages 8 to 12.