Book review: Two Men and a Car: Franklin Roosevelt, Al Capone, and a Cadillac V-8, by Michael Garland

Garland, Michael. Two Men and a Car: Franklin Roosevelt, Al Capone, and a Cadillac V-8. Tilbury House, 2019. Unp. $17.95. ISBN 978-0-88448-620-6. Ages 7-10. P8Q8

Culture and biography from the first half of the 20th century blend in this possibly true story of how an armored car constructed by a famous mobster in 1928 was later used to protect the president of the United States on his way to give a speech the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. With biographical information about the two men, both New Yorkers, Garland shows the contrast in backgrounds between the wealthy, privileged only child who changed the U.S. with his political acumen and the poor immigrant with eight siblings who controlled the Chicago underworld. Thousands of lines cover the illustrations of the subjects and the places where each spent part of his life—13 years in the White House and eight years in Alcatraz.

Verdict: Dense scratchwork art is distracting, but the use of the story to show U.S. history during a half century is clever.

June 2019 review by Nel Ward.


Book review: I Like My Car, by Michael Robertson

Robertson, Michael. I Like My Car. Holiday House Publishing, 2018. $15.99. ISBN 9780823439515. Unpaged. Ages 4-6. P6 Q7

Full of colorful, large illustrations, and repetitious text, “I like my __ car.” Each page shows a whimsical animal in an oversized car. There is a large amount of space around the text so it stands out. Readers can look at the color of the car to help them decode the text if needed. Arrows on signs show the directions the cars are traveling. On the last page, all the cars and animal drivers are included. Glossy pages with many different colors makes reading fun. In the I like to read series.  Guided B reading level, which is K-1. End pages have colorful, cartoon type car related illustrations.

Vedict: For children who are learning to read and who like cars, this book is fun. Since the book is repetitious, adult readers may tire of the book quickly. It is meant for children as they are learning to read.

November 2018 review by Tami Harris.