nonfiction nuggets…those daring young men and their jaunty jalopies!

The Racecar Alphabet, words and illustrations by Brian Floca

A pictorial history of racecars…an alphabet book with zip and dash…a visual treat..and ample amounts of alliteration!  That’s what you get with The Racecar Alphabet!

Beginning with a 1901 Ford 999, blasting along with a 1924 Bugatti and an Alfa Romeo from 1923,  we then dash through several Mercedes and a ’51 Jaguar before zooming to a finish with a 2001 Ferrari.  Oh! So! Cool!  Floca authentically depicts 18 vehicles in all, stretching through 100 years. 

As the pages turn, and the alphabetical ditties describe the Buzzing and Careening and Dodging of the vehicles, the cars’ surroundings also reflect the passage of time.  Racing gear becomes more sophisticated.  The fashions of the audience change.  The race track improves as the 20th century rolls by.   Yet throughout the changes, a clear constant is the sheer delight in speed and, yes, risk! 

I am on a Brian Floca reading kick right now!  I very much admire his watercolor illustrations.  These pictures are just as wonderfully clean and light as ever, yet he’s also incredibly inventive in varying the scenes in which he sets these vintage automobiles.  This is not a book where every page is just one more car plopped in the middle.  The alphabet portion of the text is  full of zing, mainly serving to say in 26 different ways how fast and loud and daring these cars are!  There are many wearisome Books About Cars out there.  Here is one that is artistic, interesting, and a blast of fun for little folk and their grown-up readers. 

For a look at more of Brian Floca’s brilliant artwork, click on the link:
And here’s an Amazon link to the book: The Racecar Alphabet (Ala Notable Children’s Books. Younger Readers (Awards))