cover image Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems

Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems

J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian, illus. by Jeremy Holmes. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-86690-6

Lewis and Florian bring new meaning to “hybrid automobile” in clever and concise poems packed with wordplay, puns, and double entendre. An impish array of people, monsters, and animals inhabit a loony, on-the-go world with such exotic vehicular mashups as the Fish Car, High-Heel Car, Balloon Car, and Caterpillar Cab. Holmes’s spry, mixed-media illustrations in lime greens, pinks, and metallic tones have a smooth, almost taffylike veneer, and handily match the witty and wondrous mood of the poems. Where the poets envision a post–fossil fuel automobile (“Here’s what we will be driving/ When oil and gasoline/ Are just a distant memory—/ The family li-mooo-sine”), he pictures a cow-drawn station wagon in a futuristic farmscape where a sheep peers at a neighboring farm planet through a giant telescope. A birdlike royal rides in the Bathtub Car, an ornate chariot chauffeured by a duckling: “With hot-water heating/ And porcelain seating,/ The Bathtub is speeding.” It’s all but sure to have readers dreaming up their own wild contraptions for land, sea, sky, and space. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Jan.)