Cover image for My car
My car
My car
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2001]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Pagination may vary.
Sam describes in loving detail his car and how he drives it.


Call Number
Material Type
E BART New or Popular Picture Book

On Order



With prose as clean as Sam's the narrator's shiny engine, Byron Barton, the celebrated creator of numerous picture books for very young children, including Trucks, My Bus, and Building a House, explores transportation, the parts of a car, signs and signals, night and day, community, and occupations.

Bright, graphic artwork invites readers to count, name colors and shapes, and follow Sam and his car as they drive through a bustling world from Sam's home in the country to his job in the city. The surprise ending is a gem! "For young children intrigued by cars, this book is simply wonderful."--ALA Booklist

Supports the Common Core Standards

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Sam takes good care of his bright red car. He keeps it clean and makes sure that it has oil and gasoline. He also obeys the traffic laws, reads the street signs, drives carefully, and introduces readers to his vehicle's many parts. He drives his car many places, but at work he's behind the wheel of-a big, green bus. Typical of Barton's style, the illustrations are simple and stylized, but perfectly suited to the text. Bold, complementary colors are featured against yellow backgrounds. The book will find a home with youngsters who enjoy books about cars, trains, buses, and the like. Combine it with Donald Crews's Freight Train (Greenwillow, 1978) to get a toddler or preschool storytime rolling.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

With just a few words per page, Barton (Machines at Work) manages to convey simple car facts and an ending with a twist. "I am Sam/ This is my car," begin the first two spreads. Sam adores his red Beetle-esque car (it comically mirrors his own chunky physique), and he takes all the responsibilities of ownership seriously from maintenance ("My car needs oil/ and a full tank of gasoline") to obeying the traffic laws ("I stop for pedestrians"). Like any car buff, he loves to explain how his automobile works. "My car has lights to see at night," accompanies a painting of Sam driving under a starry sky as the headlights illuminate the typography. On the next page, Sam adds, the car also has "windshield wipers to see in the rain" a lovely scene that Barton renders from the perspective of the car hood, so that readers gaze at the reassuringly unfazed Sam through a curtain of silvery blue drops. Youngsters will be heartened to know that even when Sam goes to work, he gets to stay behind a wheel: he's a bus driver. Barton's world looks as if it were assembled from a toddler's collection of brightly colored building blocks, while his minimalist text has a plainspoken eloquence and subtle rhythm that will survive countless readings. Ages 2-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Ages 2-4. This is a simple picture book, simple in the best sense. Each illustration is distilled to the essence of its graphic forms. Boldly shaped blocks of brilliant colors combine to make recognizable figures and objects, which in turn create dynamic scenes that illustrate the first-person narrative. The story is simple too, short enough to engage a toddler, yet with a nice twist at the end. The narrator introduces his car and its many useful features and he demonstrates how carefully he drives--stopping for pedestrians, reading signs. The twist comes when he explains that he drives his car to work where he boards a bus: he's the driver. Those who equate simple with easy or dull will be delighted with the colors, shapes, and composition that Barton manipulates so playfully and so precisely. Sometimes electric combinations of colors set up visual effects that keep the eyes in motion over the double-page spreads. In more peaceful pictures, perfectly placed elements of the design create pleasing effects reminiscent of a collage by Matisse. For young children intrigued by cars, this book is simply wonderful. --Carolyn Phelan