Pull tabs and other special effects rev up this look at the lives of cars, from factory to junkyard.
The book opens with a sparse “museum” of early autos and closes with a visit to a Formula 1 racetrack. In between, single-topic spreads take generic automobiles from design lab to dealer, supply glimpses of a dashboard and beneath the hood, then go on to show what happens at a repair shop, a service station, and a car wash. Moving elements, one or two per page, are fairly sturdy and relatively varied—ranging from large flaps to geared wheels, tabs, and slots that work a hydraulic lift or allow a wreck to be hauled aboard a tow truck. In Hardenberg’s translation from the French, Krasinski’s simply phrased labels and commentary incorporate some distinctive vocabulary: “prototype,” “exhaust pipe,” “pre-owned.” Though hybrid, electric, and driverless cars receive nods, the focus throughout is mainly on traditional gas guzzlers. Latyk darkens the skin of some of the stylized human figures in his simple illustrations, but like the cars on display, most are small on the page and generic of feature.
Not a high-octane outing, but it could fill in some background for curious would-be motorists just out of their car seats. (Informational novelty. 4-6)