Cars, Cars, Cars! – Donna David and Nina Pirhonen

Passion for Reading

Books for very young children have such a powerful impact on fostering a love for reading. In the UK, there is disparity when it comes to gender and children reading. Therefore books such as Cars, Cars, Cars! are so important with their gender neutrality, vibrant, fun illustrations and ‘pick me up and touch me’ cover.

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Cars, Cars, Cars! is one of those covers that you only need to have a little glimpse of on a shelf for it to shout ‘pick me’. It’s a pleasure to be invited by Macmillan Children’s Books onto their blog tour for the book’s launch. This post will tell you a little more about the book and I was lucky enough to be able to ask the author Donna David a couple of questions. Can you guess what item she’d have with her on a desert island?!

Cars, Cars, Cars! Vibrant Wonder

Illustrator Nina Pirhonen and the team at Macmillan have created a wonderful palette for the book. It’s vivid and playful and would appeal to all. Placing of the text around images has been very cleverly crafted to aid young children to very naturally follow the text. Even young non-readers will be supported in learning the skills to read as their eyes follow you reading across and down pages.

Both the words and illustrations come together perfectly to form a dynamic experience for the reader. There’s also an excellent section at the back with tips for those reading with children on what you can explore in the book and questions to pose.

Books that span several ages are always great ones for home and educational settings. Cars, Cars, Cars! would captivate a 2 year old through the imagery and Donna’s delightfully, fun rhythm. Yet an older sibling may enjoy spotting the different numbers on the cars. There really is something for everyone.

Cars, Cars, Cars! Synopsis

In essence it’s a spotters’ paradise. Donna in her lovely, lyrical style introduces to a range of cars that Nina has masterfully created to match. There’s oodles of options and at the end you get to pick the one/s you love the best from a brilliant fold out spread.

Look closely at the image above and you will notice that the corners are rounded on the pull out spread. Genius idea as it stops the corners from getting bent back when you fold it back in.

Author Interview with Donna David

I get so excited when I can ask questions of authors, illustrators and publishers. I like to find out a little more first and found Donna’s website a great place to start – do check it out here. I got to discover Donna’s Nutella obsession. Will she choose Nutella as her one desert island item?

Thanks so much Donna for answering my questions – here goes…

Cars, Cars, Cars! is such a brilliant read aloud book, the rhythm of the lyrical text is perfect and will have children enthralled. When you write books do you read them aloud as you are writing?

Always! ‘Cars, Cars, Cars!’ is designed to be read out loud. I wanted the text to have a rhythmical, almost musical quality to it so every line has been read out loud many, many times. The problems come because I know the text inside out and I know how I want it to be read. This doesn’t always translate onto paper and so I had to get my long-suffering friends, family and children to read ‘Cars, Cars, Cars!’ back to me. Only once they were all reading it with a bouncy, effortless rhythm was I happy to hit ‘send’ on that email.

When you write, where do you like to be?

I write anywhere! Because my texts tend to start off on scrappy bits of paper, I can literally jot down ideas at any moment in my day. I might be in the car, queueing in a shop or waiting to pick my children up. I regularly lie on the sofa with a pen and notepad like a character from a Brontë novel. The midday sun streams through the
blinds which, more often than not, makes me fall asleep. Maybe I need to find a new favourite writing spot!

I’m always fascinated to discover whether the author and illustrator of a book collaborated in any way. There’s such a dynamic feel to the text and this is so perfectly mirrored in the illustrations. Did you and Nina have any contact and were the illustrations what you were expecting?

Nina and I have chatted on Instagram (mainly me gushing about how much I love the illustrations), but the vision for the artwork comes from Nina and the brilliant team at Macmillan. The original text had a few notes from me but Nina has taken those notes and worked her magic. The illustrations are funnier, brighter and more exciting than anything I imagined.

I loved reading your ‘about me’ page on your website. If there is one story you’d love to rescue from the bedroom corner and see as a book which one would it be and could you tell us a little bit about it?

That’s such a good question! I write a lot of stories – some of which I would love to see published one day. I’ve had a book called Farmer Llama published and I was lucky enough to work with the hilarious Fred Blunt on it. It’s about a hopeless but loveable farmer who just can’t seem to get his jobs done. I’ve written book two already and I would LOVE to see that published one day. Keep your fingers crossed for me and watch this space!

Last question – you’re on a desert island and can only pick one to keep, what would it be – Nutella, a copy of Cars, Cars, Cars! or pen and paper to write your next book?

Lisa! Don’t make me choose! I REALLY love Nutella, but I adore writing. And I could spend weeks looking at all of the incredible details in ‘Cars, Cars, Cars!’ Ok, I’m going to be sensible. A jar of Nutella would last me less than 24 hours and I could write my stories in the sand. So, it’s going to have to be ‘Cars, Cars, Cars!’ That should keep me entertained on those long, desert nights.

Cars, Cars, Cars! To Buy

Cars, Cars, Cars! is available to buy now. If you’re looking for a book to return to over and over this would be the perfect choice. Happy reading!

Thanks to Macmillan for our copy to review.

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