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The Two Cars (New York Review Childrens Collection) Hardcover – August 21, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Several classic children's tales return to delight new generations of readers. The Two Cars by the distinguished author/illustrator team of Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire is a modern adaptation of The Tortoise and the Hare, in which safe and courteous driving wins the day. Delicate pencil illustrations and a plot delivered at a pace fit for a turnpike should prove as enchanting to today's automotively inclined children as when the book was first published in 1955." --Publishers Weekly

“Whatever subject the well-known d’Aulaires offer in picture and story to the nursery set will be welcomed eagerly, for they have understanding hearts…” —The Christian Science Monitor

“The d’Aulaires now add to their list of distinguished picture books a fable about two little cars…It’s a jolly little tale with a surprise ending which is a good lesson for all of us.” —The Chicago Daily Tribune

The Two Cars is a modern story on the hare and tortoise motif for preschool children…by one of children’s favorite illustrators.” —The Washington Post

“[T]his is a just right picture story for all small boys who consider automobiles the most fascinating things in all the world…The pictures are amusing and the personification of the automobiles is done with a masterly use of mechanical detail.” —The New York Times

About the Author

Edgar Parin d'Aulaire (1898-1986) studied art in Germany and France, and worked with Henri Matisse. In Munich, he met Ingri Mortenson (1904-1980), a Norwegian-born art student. They married, emigrated to the US, and began a long career together, during which they published over twenty picture books for children. The Magic Rug was followed by Ola and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, both of which describe Norwegian folklore. Their work shifted to American history with Abraham Lincoln, a biography which won the 1940 Caldecott Medal. The d'Aulaires were awarded the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association in 1970.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: New York Review Childrens Collection
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172346
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gagewyn on December 10, 2004
Format: Library Binding
I and my brother used to fight over who got the copy of this from the public library. Later when the library decessioned the badly mauled (not just by us) book, my mother got that copy.

The story concerns two cars: an old car and a new car. They agree to have a race. The old car takes it slow, or at the speed limit anyway, and the new car goes speeding off. Speeding tickets and roadside assistance result in delays for both cars, and they are neck and neck (or bumper and bumper) at the finish. You may be surprised at who wins.

The writing is good for children who have learned to read, but are not too advanced. There are illustrations and they tell the story, but they are better used if someone is reading to the child. This is a book that I and my brother had both memorized from rereading it, if that gives you any indication of the book's quality.

The edition I have is printed in 1955. It has been heavily used, but the binding is good and the pages are not brittle. I can tug on pages and they are strong and firmly bound. An older edition of this book could withstand day-to-day use by children today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By drK on January 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is similar to the tortoise-and-hare story but with an odd twist which doesn't entirely make sense to me. It's basically old car versus new car in a race, only at the end, the slow old car gets pulled over by a police officer who congratulates him on his great driving (and meanwhile, the new car drives by and wins the race). But the old car is happy because he "won the praise." It's nicely written and has lovely pictures, but I still can't get over the ending.

My 3yo loves it, however, and wants it read most nights, though I'm not sure he really understands the moral of the story (which I'm still trying to understand myself). Kids understand that "winning the race" is good; I'm not sure they can pick up the subtleties of: "praise can be better than winning."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 1, 2015
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the overlooked or hard-to-find classics that the New York Review has caused to be reissued.

The D'Aulaires are the authors of the myth and legends books for youngsters that regularly show up in Top-Hundred-Books lists, but this picture book with a simple narrative is a bit different and aimed at a younger crowd. It is a reworking of the tortoise and hare story, marked by delicate and very old-fashioned pencil drawings.

The odd part here, (SPOILER), is the moral. The old school fable's ending is along the lines of slow-and-steady-wins-the-race. I can buy that and I can't think of any other popular and widely known story that makes that point any better than the tortoise and hare story. But here, slow and steady loses the race but is praised for being slow and steady. I guess you could make an argument that that's a useful sort of moral, but it's not the obvious angle.

So, my bottom line is that as a potential purchaser I would want to look at this book and decide for myself how it fits into my ideal storytime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William J. Foster on August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was my favorite book growing up. Unfortunately it was located at my grandmother's house and I was only able to read it once a year. This is great adaptation of the tortoise and the hair. At the time it was considered a modern interpretation. Now the cars etc are dated which lends to the story.

I had to give this to my god son.
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