MOODY MOODY CARS

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While it may be no revelation to any young reader who’s seen Disney’s Cars movies, motor vehicles have feelings too. They can be sad, joyous, angry, or even envious. In this book that uses different colors to symbolize sundry emotions, various automobiles talk to the reader in singsong-y verses expressing how they’re feeling. A photo of a different vintage car is shown on each recto page. A 1956 A.C. Cobra, for instance, is sad, “with tears on its cheek,” after losing its favorite parking spot (the car’s chrome front bumpers look like tears); a 1938 Delage Coupe is happy since its gas tank is full; and so on. An answer “key” (a pun that the author fully intends) at the end of the book reveals the car models and manufacture years, with superimposed yellow lines showing how each car’s front trimmings resemble a different facial expression. The concept is clever, and the cars look great, though it’s unlikely that young readers will be familiar with the stylings of mid-20th-century Bugattis and Jaguars unless they’re also already subscribers to Hemmings Motor News. The backmatter stresses the importance of facial emotion recognition in child development and explains how pareidolia (our tendency to see faces in everyday objects) can foster children’s emotional literacy. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

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