TWO MEN AND A CAR by Michael Garland

TWO MEN AND A CAR

Franklin Roosevelt, Al Capone, and a Cadillac V-8
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Tilbury House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019




MORE BY MICHAEL GARLAND

ChildrenDADDY PLAYED THE BLUES by Michael Garland
by Michael Garland
ChildrenPIZZA MOUSE  by Michael Garland
by Michael Garland
ChildrenBIG AND LITTLE ARE BEST FRIENDS by Michael Garland
by Michael Garland

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenOUTLAWS, SPIES, AND GANGSTERS by Laura Scandiffio
by Laura Scandiffio
ChildrenFDR’S ALPHABET SOUP by Tonya Bolden
by Tonya Bolden
AdultAMELIA AND ELEANOR GO FOR A RIDE by Pam Muñoz Ryan
by Pam Muñoz Ryan