Race Car Count
Author: Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Illustrator: Michael Slack
Published: October 27, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Goodreads Summary: Race car 1 honks look at me!
He zooms in front with the turn of a key.
Race car 2 is close behind.
The sound of vroom is on his mind.
This simple, rhyming text is perfect for reinforcing counting with young children, and the vibrant, energetic illustrations make this a terrific package for the youngest vehicle enthusiasts.
Ricki’s Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: My son is absolutely obsessed with cars, so I consider myself to be a car book connoisseur. In the past year, I have read at least fifty books about cars, and Race Car Count stands out from the rest. Upon Henry’s request, we’ve read it about eight times in the last three days. Parents and teachers know that when kids take an interest in a topic, they want to read every book about that interest. I am very pleased that my son wants to read this book over and over again because we can practice counting several times a day. As we read each page, I ask him to count each car with me. He loves the ways the cars pile up on each page, and says “Uh oh!” each time we turn to a car pileup.
The illustrations are fantastic, and they keep him engaged. Each numbered car is consistent throughout the book, which adds great characterization/personification to each car. We spend a lot of time on the last page, where my son stares at all of the cars. Each car has different interests. For example, car number ten (my personal favorite) is yellow and named Groovy. It loves popcorn and collects bumper stickers. Teachers might ask students to illustrate car number 11 and share that car’s personality. Or, they can ask students to create their own number books with something that interests them! I suspect my son’s next step would be to create a book to count construction vehicles. 😉
Kellee’s Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Whenever I think there cannot be any new interesting ABC and counting books, I am introduced to another book that proves me wrong. Race Car Counts is going to be loved by so many kids and teachers. Not only is it a fun story of racing with vibrant and colorful illustrations, it is a great book to teach counting, colors, personality/character traits, and rhyming. Each car is introduced, and the reader learns their number, their color, and a bit about their personality. And I think the addition of the character cards in the back of the book that includes more information about each race car really pushes the book into being a mentor text for writing as well because students could duplicate the cards with their own characters.
Discussion Questions: How does the author use rhymes to enhance the story?; How does she use adjectives to make the story fun and engaging?; How does the illustrator personify each car?; Which car is your favorite and why?
We Flagged: “Race car 4, all shiny red, rumbles grumbles, pulls ahead.”
Read This If You Love: The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca, Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson, The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon, Ten Little School Cars by School Specialty Publishing
**Thank you to Michael Slack for providing copies for review!**