If I Built a Car

by Chris Van Dusen

Paperback, 2007

Call number



Puffin Books (2007), Edition: Reprint, 40 pages


Jack describes the kind of car he would build--one with amazing accessories and with the capability of traveling on land, in the air, and on and under the sea.

User reviews

LibraryThing member nancyken
Jack describes the kind of car he would build-- one with amazing accessories and with the capability of traveling on land, in the air, and on and under the sea.
LibraryThing member Lakapp
“If I Built a Car” written by Chris Van Dusen is a story about a young boy who has a dream of building the perfect car. Throughout the story, the young boy, imagines all the things he would put in his car and all the things his car would be capable of doing. The boy imagined his car would have
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a pool, a snack bar, a napping chair, and many other creative things. All young children, especially boys, would enjoy reading this story. This story is best suited for elementary students of all ages.
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LibraryThing member stevekep32
This story is fun and full of great ideas and illustrations. It follows a boy as he tells about his most clever inventions. It would be a great lead into a lesson about coming up your own with fictional stories.
LibraryThing member ReadAloudDenver
This EB White Read Aloud Award-winning book is an absolute feast of fun rhymes for the ears and Googie art for the eyes. Your child's vocabulary will be enriched by learning words like contemplate, zeppelins, analyze, refine, retractable, chrome, polymer, concoction, collision, dented, hazelnut and
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aerosol. Not to mention that your child will learn practically all parts of a car: fender, headlights, taillights, fins, engine and controls. And best of all, this book relishes children's imaginations to dream of wild and fantastic inventions and possibilities.
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LibraryThing member bkling1
I liked this book because the plot is very engaging to a young reader with a strong imagination. The main character takes the reader through his imagination of what his imaginative car would look like if he invented it. Features range from a swimming pool to a snack bar to driving underwater.
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Because of this strong imaginative aspect after reading this to my class I would have them create their own imaginative car as an activity. There is no real message of this story other than imagination of a young child can be very extreme, but exciting.
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LibraryThing member trayceetee
Really fun ideas, great illustrations, and it rhymes, which is always fun!
LibraryThing member SimoneAlexis
In this book, a boy named Jack wants to build a car that is neat, and cool, and describes all the things he would do with it. Although this book is supposed to be representative of a "car of the future" , it has a 1950s style to it with old-fashioned cars and houses. Each sentence rhymes making it
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a great read aloud and read on your own book. I would recommend this book to students 2nd-5th grade.
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LibraryThing member sparrowtlw
This is fun fantasy. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and full of energy, which helps tell the story. The main character is a little boy who starts to tell his father how he would build a car if he could. He begins to describe how the car would look and what it would be made of. Then he
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starts to talk about what would be inside his car, things like a couch, fireplace, a swimming pool, and a snack bar. He also thought of his father, if he got tired of driving, a robot would take over the driving. Then the boy tells about the special features of the car, it would not only drive itself, it will fly like a plane, float like a boat and go underwater like a sub.
Personal reflection:
I really like this book. I thought it was fun and full of imagination. I like how the illustrator interrupts the story in his drawing and choice of colors. There is a futuristic feel to the illustrations and theme. I like how the writer shows the boy using items he owns to fuel his imagination about the car he would build.
Extension ideas:
I would like to have the students design the car of their dreams and then make the car out of whatever material they would like.
I would have them write a short story about their car, telling me what their car looks like and the special feature in their car and what it can do.
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LibraryThing member sidneyneal
This book is an excellent for a child with a huge imagination! It tells what seems like an adventure, the imagination of a young boy and what he would do if he built his own car. It has great illustrations and the vocabulary is fantastic!
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Homage or rip-off, you decide - but it totally reminds me of To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street. ?�Otoh, most kids do love designing dream cars (and houses) so it's universal. ?áAlso, I have a bit of a concern that Jack has taken all the good ideas and kids will feel discouraged, rather
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than inspired. ?áBut I'm probably underestimating the power of kids' creative imaginations.

?áFor some folks this could very well be a four or five star book; my lower rating mainly reflects my personal taste.
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LibraryThing member eearly15
What a design! The story of a little boy who imagine and describe to his Dad the type of car he would make with all the comforts needed to travel safely around the world by land, flying, and underwater. This innovative modern fantasy story written in catchy rhymes, delight us with its cartoon art
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in motion. Very colorful, very futuristic!
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LibraryThing member kbuffum13
I think this would be a good book to show the engineering process. Showing students that they can create amazing things and could be connected with students making plans for their own invention. I like how the book talks about improving the actual car’s features like bad fumes into nice smells.
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This book shows students how to make their invention appealing so that someone would be interested in their hard work. I think it is good that he said that if built a car this is what he would do to connect that there is no wrong way for students to create their first plans for an invention.
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LibraryThing member widdowsd
While riding in his dad's car, a boy imagines his dream car, including all its amenities and abilities. Language is descriptive and gouache prints are colorful and engaging.
LibraryThing member jkibbey
This fun book could help kids expand their imagination and thing about things differently and outside the box.a fun interactive book you could read and then have them design their own car.
LibraryThing member steffsweet
A little boy imagines all of the features he would give a car if he were to make one.
LibraryThing member sloth852
Imaginative with a nice rhyme scheme and vivid art.




0147509149 / 9780147509147
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