Review Blog

Jan 24 2013

Racing Car is Roaring by Mandy Archer

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Ill. by Martha Lightfoot. Busy Wheels series. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN: 9781742835112
(Ages: 3-6) Recommended. Rabbit loves racing around the track with Racing Car. The big race is about to take place and as the mechanics do some final checks on Racing Car Rabbit zips up his overalls and puts on his helmet. VVRROOOMMM goes Racing Car as Rabbit steers it onto the track and WHOOSH go the cars as they screech around the bend. But what's that up ahead? The crowd gasps. There's an oil spill on the track! Can Rabbit and Racing Car get safely around and will it be Rabbit standing on the winner's podium?
The great elements of this book are its simplicity of story, the relaxed way it introduces new and technical language and the fun way it encourages interaction with its readers. The technical language or terms associated with cars and car racing such as 'pit stop', 'skids' and 'marshall' are printed in bold print allowing young readers to pick them out and consider them. The illustrations themselves are clean and bold with primary colours and are very accurate in their representation of the machinery and its parts and the race track itself. The last couple of pages dedicate themselves to factual information about race cars. There is a labelled diagram of a racing car and labelled pictures of different types of racing machines, eg. Motorbike, Formula 1 car, rally car.
This is not only a fun and engaging story but is highly factual and informative - a perfect story to share with those curious machine-loving preschoolers and young school-age children. Not only will children pick up a lot of new language and concepts but it provides ample opportunities for questions and discussions around what these concepts mean, examining similar terms eg. 'marshall' and 'umpire' and looking at the discourse and symbols of the car racing world, eg. 'Lights out' means 'go'.
Nicole Smith-Forrest

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