cover image My Side of the Car

My Side of the Car

Kate Feiffer, illus. by Jules Feiffer, Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4405-5

This father-and-daughter team's account of a family car trip, inspired by real-life family history, is one continuous smile of a story. It's narrated by Sadie, who details the mishaps that have prevented their family from reaching the zoo in the past ("One day when we were supposed to go to the zoo, my mom tripped over a toy fire engine. So we went to the hospital instead of the zoo"), then describes a new dilemma as she and her father try again. "Sadie, it's raining," her father says. But Sadie's not giving in so easily, insisting that it's not raining on her side of the car. "People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car," she thinks to herself. Feiffer's sweet and loopy watercolor-and-pencil drawings follow Sadie's imaginings and explanations for wet car windows ("People on my side of the car are watering their lawns"); their arrival at the zoo is almost beside the point. Sadie's cheerful sass and her father's obvious respect for and indulgence of the force of her imagination make this a keeper. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)