by Chris Van Dusen
James Bond's gadget man Q probably had the same idea as the little boy in this book: to build a car that has everything he likes and does whatever he wants.
Imagine a car made out of a special polymer gel that absorbs shock on impact, a car with Plexiglass dome for an all round view, a car whose floor slides open to reveal a cool pool, a car that has an Instant Snack Bar to dole out goodies at the push of a button, a car that has a robot driver who can take over when you feel drowsy, a car that emits perfumed fumes rather than noxious burnt gasoline, a car which can submerge under water at the push of a button and fly up high in the air for long distance travel...
This book sparked the imagination of the 3 yo with a lot of "What if...", and made the 6 yo rather skeptical initially asking, "A pool in the car? Well, we can only use it when the car is not moving, else it will splash around".
The rhyming text is an easy read, even if quite a few of the words were beyond the 3 yo - gave us a chance to learn them, or at least get exposed to them. (I like to read to the kids at a level slightly higher than their current anyway).
The illustrations are bright, colorful, playful, and complement the text well. Front and Back inside covers have design drawings of cars that gave the 6 yo ideas for designing her own car (and trying to build it out of cardboard we were recycling).
[image source: http://www.chrisvandusen.com/books/if-i-built-a-car]