To start off, my twin (fraternal, not identical) brother and I are both substitute teachers, who, as some of you know, still live at home while we’re saving up for our own houses (we don’t want to rent, other than paying mom some rent for staying here until we save up).
Now....mom is also a retired teacher of 43 years (retired in 2015) and, with COVID, has been going through a lot of her old stuff to get rid of it with all the newfound being-stuck-at-home time. Today I found this book amongst her piles. It’s not one of my, or my twin brother’s books from when we were kids as I don’t remember it AT ALL, so it must’ve come from her stash.
It’s an old kids ‘board’ book...I’m guessing from the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, as you’ll soon see.
Sometimes you pick up a book and just KNOW the author or illustrator put a lot of effort into it. That is IMMEDIATELY apparent in this book. It’s a short book, being a ‘board’ book, with minimal sentences for kids learning to read, but the illustrations...man, the illustrations and detail! Most kids books have generic cars and trucks that just look like...cars and trucks, but NOT this one!
Here’s the front cover...
I mean, look at the detail on that Mercedes and BMW! I’m reasonably sure the Mercedes is a W116 and the BMW is an E21 300-Series. The illustrator even put them in a stereotypical German setting with very German architecture...and even the license plates are authentic! Not sure what the blue car is in the background though....thoughts?
OK, now that you can see what I mean by ‘man...the illustrations and detail’....on to the first and second pages! La Belle France! :D We have an amazing and very green Citroen CX in the forefront, a Citroen Dyane in the background on the left, along with a 3-door Peugeot 104...a red 2CV in the background on the right, and the rear end of a pre-facelift Renault 5 on the right! My pictures suck as the lighting was terrible and I couldn’t use my flash to take the pics as the pages (being a ‘board’ book) are shiny and just caused terrible reflections...but trust me when I saw the badge on the rear of that Renault actually says ‘Renault 5 LTD’....I told you it was detailed! Also, note the cheeky period Renault dealer-style logo on the wall of the building behind the red Peugeot!
Page 3-4! A late-70's Porsche 911 and a facelifted Alfa Romeo Alfa 6....I mean, the illustrator even put only one mirror on the 6, as most of them had! When’s the last time you saw an Alfa 6 in ANYTHING, let along a children’s book???
Pages 7-8! Obvious bus is obvious...the famed AEC Routemaster double-decker makes up most of these pages. I really don’t know my British cars enough to know all the cars in the background...the gray car on the left in the background does look like a Daimler though?
The last two pages...your standard, classic Austin FX4 London Taxi and Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Not sure on the green car behind the taxi...thoughts?
But, it doesn’t end there! It, of course, ends on the back cover, where we have an awesome early Volvo 240 sedan and a late Saab 99! :D
The author and illustrator aren’t listed anywhere in the book, and that tiny little mark on the rear bottom corner is all we have on the publisher, etc.
Thank you awesome ‘A Picture Book Of Motor Cars’ author and illustrator, wherever you are! :