The Ultimate Car Sticker Book
Perhaps it is strange to review such a book on Speedreaders. It is merely a playbook for tots—sheets of reusable stickers that can be used to decorate a child’s lunchbox, pencil box and school folders. It is an interactive book. The young reader is instructed to: “Read the captions in the booklet. Using the labels beside each sticker, choose the car that best fits in the space available.” Leftover stickers can be used to “decorate the front cover.” The anonymous author suggests that the budding enthusiast write his or her name on the front cover—“after all, you designed the pages yourself!”
The reason I believe the book is worth mentioning lies in the publisher’s obvious knowledge of automobile history and the sterling quality of the material selected. Among the stickers are the Duesenberg SJ, the Bugatti Royale, the De Dion Bouton Model Q, the Citroën 2CV, the Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost , and Donald Campbell’s Bluebird. My personal favorite: “the Bentley 4½ liter supercharged.” Lesser-known cars also are represented—the Wolseley Siddeley and the Bersey electric cab for example. Stickers also illustrate various badges and mascots, and these too are agreeably chosen: the Bean lion logo, the Spirit of Ecstasy, and the crisp, readily recognizable MG. The caption of the last reads, “This logo has been used to identify some of the most famous sports cars in the world.” I do not think that many enthusiasts would argue against this sentiment.
Although written for the very young, the captions are concise and reasonably accurate, and little condescension is evidenced. For example, the caption for the Auburn 851 Speedster: “This huge two-seater sports car was powered by a supercharged eight-cylinder engine. Almost 17 ft (6m) long, very tall and wide, the car was designed to impress.” Considering the ages of the intended readers, it would only be supercilious quibbling to suggest that the engine be described as a straight-eight or that the fact that the supercharger was manufactured by Schweitzer-Cummins be noted. Along with the fun of decoration and the matching of illustrative stickers to text, our young neophytes learn such salient automotive facts as “Aston Martin has always been associated with fast, high-performance sports cars,” “in 1885 Karl Benz built the Motorwagen, the first automobile to be sold to the public,” “there is little difference between road and racing versions of the 300SL,” and that a whale tail is used “to push the car down on the road and for better grip.”
Again, the material is well considered and the book intelligently and forthrightly conceived. It is attractive and well organized. Do you have a passion for automobiles and automotive history? Do you have a grandchild, niece or nephew who brightens when, say, a C5 Corvette or a Porsche Carrera rumbles past? Consider ordering The Ultimate Car Sticker Book, inviting the child over, sitting at the kitchen table and matching the stickers to the captions. And, please, don’t forget to take turns and share!
Copyright 2012, Bill Wolf (speedreaders.info).