Vroom, Vroom!: Poems about Things with Wheels selected by Mark Carthew, illustrated by Paul Nicholls (Teacher Created Materials, 2013
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
Racing cars feature on the cover of this hardback book devised for an American market with Australian input from the compiler and packager (Denise Ryan and Associates). And too, there are plenty of colourful vehicles displayed through its 24 pages, from tow trucks to fire brigades to trains. One can imagine a boy reader aged 7 to 8 years flicking through the pages. Hopefully he will also read the nine poems with titles such as ‘The Robot’, ‘The Yellow Bus’ and ‘Tractors, Trucks, Trains and Trams.’
As with all four of the poetry books in the Read! Explore! Imagine! fiction reader series, anthologist Carthew has included his own, original work, namely four poems in this collection of nine poems. Happily, he has also made use of poems by well-published Australians, Max Fatchen, Janeen Brian and Doug Macleod.
There’s an excellent poem, ‘Song of the Train’ by David McCord with lots of repetition of ‘Click-ety-clack/Click-ety clack/Click-ety, clack-ety/Click-ety/Clack’ – great for reading aloud, and perhaps accompanying the recitation with percussion sounds. Another poem which caught my interest was ‘Engineers’ which used lots of ‘machine’ words such as ‘Piston, valves and wheels and gears’ and lots of onomatopoeia.
It would be wonderful if these durable and attractive books with well-selected verse and colourful, appealing illustrations were readily available for young Australian children.