Poem-Mobiles: Bizarre Cars & Humorous Rhymes

Crazy Car Poems

In a nod to National Poetry Month and to my youngest, an April baby who loves things that go, here is a new book filled with humorous rhymes and fantastically bizarre cars. Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems is the work of the 2011-2013 US Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, and award-winning children’s poet, Douglas Florian. Together, they have created a collection of futuristic automobiles, from the Giant Bookmobile of Tomorrow and the Caterpillar Cab to the Eel-ectric Car and The Sloppy-Floppy-Nonstop-Jalopy, which will have readers wheeling with delight. The poems, cast in short lines, simple language, and clean rhymes, are highly accessible, great for reading aloud, and full of clever puns. Like the “Bathtub Car,” “With hot-water heating/ And porcelain seating,/ The bathtub is speeding – /A white limousine./ That’s sudsy with bubbles./ Forget your car troubles./ Its purpose? It doubles/ By keeping you clean!.” 

Illustrations by artist, Jeremy Holmes, tie the poems together and create a world of mechanical inventiveness that will make readers slow down and explore each detail-rich page. His digitally colored pencil and watercolor paintings have a 3-D, steam-punk-ish appeal, which bring these crazy cars to life. In “The Fish Car,” a young pirate maneuvers a fish mobile with fins, scales and sharp teeth, through an underwater jungle of funny fish and strange marine vegetation. And in “Jurassic Park(ing),” the illustrator-imagined contraption looks oddly like a T-Rex. A great pick for car crazy kids and for any reader who appreciates the wacky and whimsical.

Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems written by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian. Illustrated by Jeremy Holmes. Published by Schwartz & Wade, 2014. ISBN: 978-0375866906


Cheli Mennella

Cheli has been involved with creative arts and education for most of her life, and has taught many subjects from art and books to yoga and zoology. But she has a special fondness for kid’s books, and has worked in the field for more than 20 years. She is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Valley Kids and teaches a course for adults in “Writing for Children.” She writes from Colrain, where she lives with her musician-husband, three children, and shelves full of kid’s books.

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