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THE NO. 1 CAR SPOTTER AND THE FIREBIRD by Atinuke

THE NO. 1 CAR SPOTTER AND THE FIREBIRD

From the No. 1 Car Spotter series, volume 2

By Atinuke (Author) , Warwick Johnson Cadwell (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-61067-052-4
Publisher: Kane/Miller

In four connected short stories set in a tiny African village, No. 1 fulfills his dream of seeing a Pontiac Firebird up close and meeting its professor owner.

Oluwalese Babatunde Benson is not No. 1 at slingshot or at school, but he is excellent at identifying cars and is full of bright ideas. He's the one who dispatches the leopard with hot-chili-pepper soup, figures out a way to get stranded bus passengers across a flooded road and on their way, and finds a use for Mama Coca-Cola's too-hot new house. Underlying these simple stories are some significant cultural ideas. These villagers cooperate with each other, sharing their furnishings and their work. It’s not necessary to be No. 1 at more than one thing, Grandfather says. “That way we need one another.” The sharp corners, white plaster and corrugated iron roof of Mama Coca-Cola’s modern new house turn out to be wrong for the climate; it may be unhealthy to live in, but it's perfect for a restaurant serving both traditional and modern eaters. Cadwell’s grayscale cartoons add to the gentle humor of Nigerian-born Atinuke’s engaging, stand-alone sequel to The No. 1 Car Spotter (2011).

A delightful immersion in an unfamiliar world for early chapter-book readers. (Fiction. 7-11)