The book we picked up for reading in the past few days was ‘The Life of a Car’ by Susan Stegall.
We are a great fan of Susan Stegall’s works and we are proud to mention that we have read all her works. We love all of them, needless to say.
You can take a boy out of a car but never a car out of a boy. Therefore, you know why does Dhruv like this book.
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This book covers the life of a car right from its getting manufactured on the assembly line in the factory to being scrapped and recycled. The book contains vivid collage illustrations with minimal words.
The opening page illustration shows a car designer sitting at a drawing board making a sketch of a car model. With the next page, the car’s life cycle begins. It is the story of a blue Volkswagen car which we got to know in the later pages since the Volkswagen sign is only on the rear side while almost all the illustrations show its front side.
Short sentences like Build the car, Deliver the car, Sell the car, Fill he car, Wash the car, Fix the car and so on describe the pictures.
This book provides room for a lot of discussion with the child with the pictures of the car –
- getting built in the factory,
- getting transported by a car transporter to the car shop,
- being bought by a mum with 2 children,
- getting filled with fuel at the petrol pump (gas station),
- getting a wash,
- getting crashed, towed, stripped, crushed and the scrap taken to re-build a new car.
It has been amazing how after many days of reading this book, Dhruv and I continue to discover some or the other finer detail in the illustrations. Like in one of the pictures, he pointed out to a car with a dog in it as Mr X’s (real name withheld) car. Mr X is an acquaintance of ours who is always spotted moving around with his dog in his car. We recognised the ‘No Entry’ sign on the car wash page, a traffic sign seen from our drives around the city. The petrol pump was identified to be as Indian Oil Petrol Pump.
The most amusing page for Dhruv was the CRASH page. I did try to sensitize him about the consequences of an accident or a crash but I do not think it worked. My attempt to keep out the gory details of an accident convinced Dhruv that a visit to the hospital will fix everything like the way his viral fever got fixed. The word crash, everytime, sent him rolling on the floor with laughter and shrieks and his own toy cars going BUMP & BOOM.
This book has got him pretty interested in various aspects of a car.
One day, we found our car with a flat tyre. Dhruv insisted on going along with daddy to see how a flat tyre gets changed. On coming back, he gave me a demo on a toy car (which had a loose wheel from his crash sessions).
“Mummy, look I am changing the punctured tyre”.
Result – That toy car runs on 3 wheels now because the punctured tyre was forcibly pulled out and a spare tyre was nowhere to be found to fix it.