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The Two Cars (New York Review Childrens Collection) Hardcover – August 21, 2007
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"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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Top customer reviews
The analogy about 2 different cars co-habitating the same garage and learning to appreciate their differences was too perfect and fit the occasion. With the high cost of quality greeting cards and postage to send them, I'd rather pay a little more and purchase an appropriate book that won't eventually be tossed in the trash like a card. I can't deny hopes I'm also building a library for future grandchildren :-) Sorry Amazon-hard for me to picture cuddling up with a Kindle and a child.
Gentle illustrations help convey the message in the story and reflect the character's personalities. These authors have an excellant book on Greek and Norse mythology that are wonderful introductions to some classic literature that will entertain and provide a wonderful basis for literary studies later on. Yes-I have purchased both of these in advance of a little someone to share them with.....
I had to give this to my god son.
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.
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."
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.