All the Way to Havana
by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Mike Curato
40 pages; ages 4-8
Henry Holt Books for young readers, 2017
themes: family, cars, diversity
We have a gift, and we have a cake, and today we're going to drive all the way to the big city to see my new baby cousin.
This is the story about a boy and his family driving to Havana, Cuba in their old family car. When she rattles and shakes like a chicken, papa pops the hood and with a twist and a tinker and a bit of twine gets her back in shape. Then it's off to Havana - well, got to give the neighbors a ride. But then it's off to Havana!
Beyond the Book:
Make a list of the sounds cars and trucks make in your area. Not just on the road, but when they're starting up, and stopped at a light. Don't forget to include a car you ride in frequently. Need inspiration? Here's a library of sounds, and here's the "Car Noise Emporium" from Car Talk.
Go to an old car show. The guys with old cars around here have a meet-up every month down in town and anyone can walk by to look at the cars. They raise the hoods and vroom the engines. OR find some books or online sites that have photos of old cars from the 1940s and 1950s.
Build a car out of cucumbers, candy bars, or other food you can easily obtain. Think about what makes a good axle and wheels. Test it going down an inclined plane. Then challenge your friends to a race. Here's a fun video of an edible car competition.
Check out this post by Margarita Engle on writing books that cross borders.
Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy from publisher.