Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Red Red Car

I love the story of The Red Red Car. He's red and always full of anger. Because he's so full of anger, he has complete disregard for the rules. He knows traffic laws, but rarely obeys them. He'd rather do whatever he wants, and just honk whenever someone asks him to do something.

He gets sent to the mechanic for a makeover, as obviously there is something wrong with him. But it didn't work. He joins a race, and because he doesn't follow the rules, he gets extremely angry, and overheats. His anger has made him horribly sick, and he goes unconscious.

When he awakens, he realizes that his anger has not only been hurting him, but others, as well. He also realizes that he will never win a race if he stays so angry. So, he learns to stay calm, and to follow the rules, so that he can be a true winner.

All of us know people, children and older, who are like the Red Red Car. No matter what, they are always angry, and basically getting in the way of themselves. They have no regard to any cautionary advice given to them and end up in trouble. Sometimes it takes something relatively drastic to get them to pay attention to their feelings and to learn to calm down again.

The Red Red Car is a book that adults can learn from, reminding themselves to take a breath once in a while and to calm down. It's also a book that children will relate to, especially those whose motors seem to often be running high. Parents and teachers can use it often to help younger children remember to slow down, to take a deep breath, and to "put on the brakes".

I also love the look of The Red Red Car. The print and the illustrations are reminiscent of classics from the 1950s and 1960s, such as those by Margaret Wise Brown, and White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt. Also, words such as "red" and "angry" and "hotter" are often printed in larger, red letters, to give visual emphasis to their meaning.

I only have two minor problems with the book, and I am hoping that perhaps they are artistic license. In the title of the book, on the book cover, the first "red" is not capitalized, while the rest of it is. Throughout the rest of the book, he is often described as a red [printed in red] Red car. I am assuming that author Manjula Naraynan is trying to emphasize how the car is red and angry.

Then, a little ways into the book, one line reads, "For, he was an angry little red Red car, who never used his breaks." Technically, the word should be "brakes" as "brakes" are for stopping cars, and "breaks" mean taking a time out. The way that the pages read in this area, which is talking about following the directions of the stoplights and stopping in general, "brakes" would have been an appropriate choice. However, perhaps the author means to indicate that the car should be taking a time out?

My eye tends to catch these types of errors quickly. Again, I am hoping they were intentional errors to add to the artistry of the story, because I truly adore this book.

Purchase The red Red Car

I received a copy of this book via my association with BookPleasures.

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