Tin Lizzie

Overview

“Happy Birthday, Tin Lizzie! Let’s go!” shouts Grandpa as his one-hundred-year-old car explodes into life. The children jump aboard the vintage Model T Ford that they have helped him to restore, and a celebration road trip begins. “You gotta have wheels!” Grandpa cries. But as traffic jams build, the children begin to ask serious questions about cars and the problems that have developed: overcrowded roads, pollution, and oil-dependency.

Animated illustrations and jaunty prose combine history and a ...

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Overview

“Happy Birthday, Tin Lizzie! Let’s go!” shouts Grandpa as his one-hundred-year-old car explodes into life. The children jump aboard the vintage Model T Ford that they have helped him to restore, and a celebration road trip begins. “You gotta have wheels!” Grandpa cries. But as traffic jams build, the children begin to ask serious questions about cars and the problems that have developed: overcrowded roads, pollution, and oil-dependency.

Animated illustrations and jaunty prose combine history and a thought-provoking look at the motor-obsessed world of today. Endpapers depict the evolution of cars from the late nineteenth century to the present, and the book concludes with a brief pictorial biography of Henry Ford, followed by a spread of images illustrating problems and possible solutions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bolstered by teeming galleries of cars old and new, Drummond both pays tribute to Henry Ford's Model T (a century old this year) and issues a challenge to readers. . . . Drummond fills even the endpapers with small, lively ink-and-watercolor sketches, depicting at the beginning, a swift history of the automobile.'" —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“It’s a picture book that marks the 100th anniversary this year of the Model T Ford while also raising modern-day environmental questions.” USA TODAY

"Wonderful line drawings illustrate this tale, which is both a good story and an intriguing real-life puzzle . . . . Highly recommended." —Young Adult (and Kids) Book Central

"Drummond makes the current crisis understandable to young children and provides a jumping-off point for many important discussions." —Horn Book

"Drummond presents a lively, child-friendly cost-benefit analysis of the automobile with a book commemorating the 100th birthday of Henry Ford's Model T." —Publishers Weekly

"This book makes a useful introduction for environmental units, as well as fun browsing fare for young car enthusiasts." —School Library Journal

"The color-washed ink drawings are charming, the book is well designed, and the text is thought-provoking." —Booklist

“Mr. Drummond does a nice job introducing the history of the automobile and tying it into the present day issues we face. This book should lead to some great conversations in the classroom.”—Kid Lit Kit, a blog on Scholastic.com

Publishers Weekly

Drummond (Liberty!) presents a lively, child-friendly cost-benefit analysis of the automobile with a book commemorating the 100th birthday of Henry Ford's Model T. The narrator, nicknamed Lizzie by her grandfather, loves wheels, from her baby carriage to her grandfather's lovingly restored Tin Lizzie. Piling in with her three younger brothers, Lizzie finally gets a spin in the car that popularized automobile travel. As they sit in traffic, however, Lizzie asks, "Grandpa, why are there so many cars?" and so begins an affable debate. Grandpa sees cars as a symbol of progress; Lizzie enumerates their drawbacks. Cartoon-style vignettes of vehicles (and traffic jams) zip horizontally across these spreads, keeping the visuals in tune with the brisk dialogue and warding off the didacticism that creeps in, especially when Lizzie is talking. An afterword challenges readers to ponder for themselves the consequences of our culture's obsession with cars. Ages 5-8. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Little Lizzie and her three brothers have always been told by their grandpa that "You got to have wheels!" They also have seen him working on his ancient Ford Tin Lizzie. Finally one day they all pile in to take a celebration drive of the Tin Lizzie's 100th birthday. But Grandpa soon finds that it is not as easy to get to the open road as it was in his youth—and that the number of people who feel you have got to have wheels has skyrocketed. While the style of Drummond's language and illustrations is breezy, he raises serious questions about the impact of the increased use of automobiles on our planet. Even better, he does not offer any pat answers to these complex problems, any more than Grandpa does when he says, "I guess you'll work it out. You've got to—it's your future!" What the trip in Grandpa's Tin Lizzie and the book itself do is give us all a way to do a lot of thinking about a serious, complex problem. This book could be used effectively in an environmental studies unit in elementary school and even beyond. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3- With fluid pen-and-wash artwork and lively text, the author/illustrator of Liberty! (2002) and The Flyers (2003, both Farrar) celebrates the centenary of the Model T Ford. Opening endpapers depict this old-timer along with a multitude of cars beloved throughout the 20th century. As the story begins, narrator Eliza enumerates her grandfather's talent with anything wheeled, from prams to skateboards, as well as his cherished long-term project, fixing up a Model T. Several years, and three more grandchildren later, the job is finally done, and Grandpa packs the kids aboard Tin Lizzie for a road trip. As they encounter escalating traffic and the resulting pollution, the family launches into an ecologically sensitive discussion of alternatives to current transportation. The kids brainstorm solutions, encouraging readers to consider their own ideas. Drummond's spirited illustrations neatly depict vehicles both old and new, presenting a colorful fleet of cars, buses, RVs, and trucks. An afterword presents an illustrated capsule biography of Henry Ford and reiterates the author's points. The closing endpapers get serious with bubbles highlighting automobile-related problems (including traffic deaths) and possible solutions. This book makes a useful introduction for environmental units, as well as fun browsing fare for young car enthusiasts. For Model T fans, pair it with Peter Spier's title of the same name (Doubleday, 1975).-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Bolstered by teeming galleries of cars old and new, Drummond both pays tribute to Henry Ford's Model T (a century old this year) and issues a challenge to readers. Young Eliza recalls her auto-mechanic grandpa's constant refrain-"You gotta have wheels!"-as she grows up helping him to restore his prized Tin Lizzie. When at long last it's ready to go out for a spin, Eliza and her younger sibs see the crowded highways ("So many roads, and bridges, and tunnels! And so much pollution. And so many millions of cars . . . ") and begin to toss around ways of coping with these problems. Drummond fills even the endpapers with small, lively ink-and-watercolor sketches, depicting at the beginning a swift history of the automobile and at the end, a page of "Problems" and a facing page of "Solutions." In the end, Grandpa cavalierly (but with perfect truth) notes, "I guess you'll work it out. You've got to-it's your future!" This frank appraisal of the auto's appeal, and its ultimate cost, will definitely set children to thinking. (Picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374320003
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/27/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

ALLAN DRUMMOND earned an M.A. in illustration at the Royal College of Art. His other books for children include Liberty!, which appeared on Fanfare, The Horn Book’s Honor List, and was a Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, where he is chair of the illustration department at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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