CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2006
Let's Go For a Ride.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2006.
24 pp., cloth, $22.99.
Drive-in facilities-Juvenile literature.
Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.
Review by Carol J. Poole.
We don't often get a picture book that is for seven to nine year old boys and girls, but Let's Go for a Ride, by Maxwell Newhouse, is one of those books. This is a very appealing book for older children who are fascinated with the history of the automobile in Canada. I struggled at the beginning of the book. In fact, I thought the pages had stuck together as it started so abruptly. However, I found the details in this book are very noteworthy. It is only when reading this book one realizes just how much the automobile has influenced our society, and why motels were built, when and why drive-in theatres were started, and the not-to-be-forgotten drive-in restaurants such as the good old “A&W” with the tray hanging off the car's front window.
They made strange noises. They belched smoke. They frightened the meek and thrilled the brave. In the late 1800s, most people thought the new newfangled “self-propelled motor vehicles” wouldn't last. Boy, were they wrong! For all their noise and danger, their smoke and smog, my heart still skips a beat when somebody says, “Let's go for a ride!”
The folk art illustrations are painted by the author in oil and are very descriptive. For those of us who grew up during the 40's, 50's and 60's, the pictures will evoke a few memories that maybe have been on the back burner, such as the drive-in movies with old boyfriends or girlfriends.
Let's Go For a Ride has a rather bumpy ending. On the second to last page “The End” is on the movie screen, and this image brings you to the conclusion that the book has finished, but, when you turn the page over, the story goes on.
I would not purchase Let's Go for a Ride for preschoolers as they would not understand or appreciate the history or the art work as would an older child. There are not many books on the history of cars in Canada for the older early years crowd, and this is a good book for them.
Recommended with reservations.
Carol Poole, the Children's Program Coordinator for the Leduc Public Library, in Leduc, AB, has always been interested children's and young adult literature.
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