Allen & Unwin, 2014
hbk., RRP $A24.99
The first day the children move to the farm, they find an old car in the shed. Mrs Crosbie’s, the previous owner of the farm, tells the children that the car has been in her family for 60 years. But, “It doesn’t go too far, nowadays, though.” However, she doesn’t take into account the imaginations of Joey, Luke and Ellie and, once more, the car begins to travel again. It takes them to Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen, to base camp on Mt Everest, to the Ruff’s International Dog Show, and on safari to discover a rhinocersaurus and a rare, one-horned buffabulleroo. Wherever their imaginations can roam, that old car takes them. But as well as making memories, they also learn that the car has its own history and memories and the generations are joined.
This beautifully illustrated story is a celebration of the unstructured, inventive play of children, free to follow their fancies to wherever their minds may wander. If the children in your class had an old car, where might it take them? What journeys might it have already been on? I really liked this story because it exudes the joy and exuberance and fun of childhood – the right of every little person in our lives.