Tin Lizzie

Allan Drummond, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Foster $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-32000-3

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)

Reviewed on: 06/02/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Children's
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