2006 Winner, Picture Books
If I Built a Car, by Chris Van Dusen
$15.99 Penguin Young Readers Group PREVIEW
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 chauffeur named Robert. With Jack's soaring imagination in the driver's seat, readers are off on a wild ride of imagination!
Chris Van Dusen's interest in art began at a young age when his mother gave hiim and his four brothers pencils and paper to keep them busy. After high school, Chris pursued his interest in art by studying painting and illustration at the University of Massachursetts at Dartmouth, graduating in 1982 with a BFA. In 1985 he returned to Maine and settled in the coastal town of Camden. He is also the auhtor of Down to the Sea wit Mr. Magee, and A Camping Spree with Mr. McGee. In his spare time, Chris likes to hike and bike all over the Maine coast with his family. Click here to visit Chris Van Dusen's web site.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
K-Gr. 2. A young boy decides to design a better car than the old family station wagon. Driven by a robot, his sleek, supercharged vehicle can drive underwater and fly, and the interior includes a snack bar and swimming pool. The story is told in jaunty rhyming couplets, but the fun really comes from the illustrations, which perfectly parody 1950s' visions of the future, as depicted in such magazines as Popular Mechanics. The car glides past neat suburban homes with wide and perfect lawns, where everything is bathed in pastels. This may appeal more to parents (or, perhaps more accurately, to grandparents) who remember these renderings of technological dream worlds. Still, children will enjoy the exuberance and goofiness of the double-page spreads, such as the close-up of the expansive snack bar, which dispenses burgers, fries, and Cheez Whip on command. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.