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If I Built a Car

Last updated Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Author: Chris Van Dusen
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0525474005
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2016

Synopsis: Young Jack is giving an eye-opening tour of the car he'd like to build. There's a snack bar, a pool, and even a robot named Robert to act as chauffeur. With Jack's soaring imagination in the driver's seat, we're deep-sea diving one minute and flying high above traffic the next in this whimsical, tantalizing take on the car of the future.

Note to readers:
•  This book is written in rhymes - good to practice with the kids.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think this story is about?


•  zeppelin - German word for a blimp; long and cylindrical in shape and with a rigid framework
•  flush - level or even with its surroundings
•  plexiglas - a solid transparent plastic made of polymethyl methacrylate
•  catamaran - a yacht or other boat with twin hulls in parallel

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  If you wanted a car to have a good smell, what smell would you pick?
•  What is a stickleback gar? (this is real fish, and it looks pretty much like the one on the lower left corner of the page. "Stickleback" refers to the spikes on the fish's back.)
•  Do you think Jack's care would be safe? Why or why not?
•  What are some of the cool things Jack's care will have inside?
•  What do you think cars in the future will look like? How ill it bee different from the cars we drive today/

Craft ideas:
•  Design a car. Use colorful cut-out shapes or cardboard tubes, if available. Give it a name & label the parts. Draw windows with all the things you would put in your car.
•  Make a robot. Use colorful cut-out shapes & foil.
•  Make an advertisement for the car of the future.
•  See ideas or examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/november-2016-science-tech/

Special activities:
•  Play "I know a word that rhymes with..." game.
•  Name some types of cars (Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc.)
•  Name some care parts (fender, engine, steering wheel, etc.)

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!