"Cars and Trucks and Things That Go" by Richard Scarry is a picture book that many parents remember reading as children. In fact, the librarian and another teacher in my school waxed poetic about Scarry books.
"I loved reading the books and recognizing the characters from other books," said the teacher.
"I used to spend hours reading them and imagining and building whole towns," said the librarian.
One of them pointed out that Scarry doesn't just include one picture of a race car. "See," she said, "There are lots and lots of race cars to look at."
Clearly, all Scarry's books are classic picture books that kids love and will continue to love for many years.
The pages in this book are filled with animals and vehicles and lots and lots of action. It's a great way to get kids talking and having discussions about what various kinds of cars and trucks are used for. Parents and teachers can have discussions with their kids about which is the biggest fire truck. What cars are yellow?
There are also certain characters who are repeated and have an adventure as the pages progress. And they are all friendly characters. There are no bad guys in Scarry's world.
Some of the behavior of the drivers will enable discussions on safety and how to make good decisions. Kids will be able to work on visual discrimination by finding certain types of cars and certain characters. The pages are FULL of lots of cars and trucks and tractors in different situations.
There is commentary throughout like, "Would you like to have a bananamobile?" and "four antique sports cars - Count them!"
It's a book that will be looked at again and again while kids ponder all the different types of vehicles in the world -- including a bananamobile! There's also Scarry's version of "Where's Waldo," except here it's "Spot Goldbug" -- on every page.
Teachers, note that this book is a great tool for providing background knowledge for students who may not be familiar with different kinds of trucks and cars. And the white background means there isn't a lot of distraction. The important things (names and pictures) pop out.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Golden Books, a division of Random House, for review purposes.
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