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The No. 1 Car Spotter (No.1 Car Spotter, #1)
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The No. 1 Car Spotter (No.1 Car Spotter #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews

Oluwalase Babatunde Benson is Number 1. He's the Number 1 car spotter in his village.The Number 1 car spotter in the world! The start of an exciting new series about the irresistible Number 1, whose hobby is car spotting, but who is good at solving all sorts of problems for his village.

Paperback, 110 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Kane/Miller Book Publishers (first published September 6th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 340)
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Mpho Otukile
Jul 26, 2011 Mpho Otukile rated it really liked it
There is No. 1 in the village, his name is Oluwalase Babatunde Benson. He is the number one car spotter. He can spot cars and tell the make of a car just by listening to their engines sounds. The No. 1 car spotter comes to the rescue when the village cart breaks and there is no way to get products to the market. He uses his knowledge of cars to convert a Corolla to a Cow-rolla.

Reading this book brought back memories of when I was growing up in my village. There weren't many cars in the village a
Aug 17, 2011 Betsy rated it it was amazing
When I discovered the amazing, remarkable, one-of-a-kind, never before seen Anna Hibiscus books by Atinuke last year I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It just didn't seem possible. A contemporary early chapter book set on the continent of Africa? To understand how rare this was visit your local library sometime. Ask for fiction about Africa that takes place today for early readers. Specify that you'd rather not take out a work of older fiction that's deadly serious, but rather something lig ...more
Jan 03, 2012 Deanna rated it liked it
Realistic fiction, global, Nigeria, family, easy reading novel for grades 2-3

Number 1 spots every vehicle that enters his village. He knows every make and model from Audi to Ford to Toyota. Each of his family members have nick names that portray their talents from his cousin Coca Cola who quickly collects soft drinks from the river (where they are cooling) for tourists to Auntie fine fine who is fine and No. 1 because he spots the tourists or visitors to their compound so quickly.

This would be
Clearly, Atinuke is a born storyteller. In this title, she provides plenty of cultural details and follows the adventures of one individual whose daily life is filled with enough noteworthy material to inspire several books. What I particularly like is that her material is drawn from commonplace, everyday occurrences in the lives of ordinary folks such as No. 1. Although his birth name is Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, his family calls him No. 1 because he is good at spotting the cars that head tow ...more
Shelby Fungone
Nov 24, 2013 Shelby Fungone rated it it was amazing
This book is about a boy who lives in a small village in Africa with his family. His name is No.1 because he always spots cars traveling on the main No. 1 road through his village heading towards other villages and eventually to the big cities with tall buildings. His village is described as small, people living there only dream of electricity, and they do a lot of manual labor to make money. You can tell that he and his family are in a lower social and economic status because they aren’t making ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Xander rated it liked it
A fun (youth oriented) glimpse into the lives of rural Africans. No. 1 is a good protagonist because he remains identifiable to people all over the world even if the things he is dealing with are outside of our normal experiences. I read this aloud to Kai and Keeley. They didn't soak it up as much as they have some of the Dahl books we've read, but there were still times when they seemed to be enjoying it, and that's enough for me.
Atinuke is the author of the excellent Anna Hibiscus series, but while sweet, I believe this title will have less appeal to children in the United States. The beginning chapter is all right, but then the author delves too deeply into dialect and culture without a bridge for those of us who need a helping hand. I could figure out what was going on or what was meant by a particular turn of phrase but your average 7 or 8-year-old reader will have a harder time. The story is a series of connected ad ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa, mg, read-2015, aoc
Atinuke is so good at packing meaning into simple stories. As in Anna Hibiscus, this collection of stories for early-ish readers is age-appropriate, yet full of education about everyday life in Africa. It's like The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency* for the early elementary set.

*although the name similarity is just happy coincidence. I felt the same way about Anna Hibiscus.
Feb 24, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
This was a average book, the names in it were very creative and interesting. I think the author was trying to make the reader feel the emotions the character felt, I think Atinuke could of done a better job of that. But I still think that it was a very interesting and creative book, the author also did a good job of the first part of the book pulling the reader in.
May be a little tricky for young readers not familiar with the culture and language/phrasing of the Nigerian characters. I enjoyed the adventures & resourceful spirit of No.1, his BFF Coca-Cola and the rest of their families.
Apr 13, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Atinuke at it again in this awesome early chapter book about a boy in an African Village. A little older than her Anna Hibiscus texts, but fun and so enjoyable with interesting cultural details.
Kris Patrick
Jul 20, 2015 Kris Patrick rated it liked it
Explaining what a non-governmental organization is to a seven year old. Now that's a conversation starter!
The illustrations are so darn cute I went ahead read #2 in series.
Christina G
Aug 08, 2014 Christina G rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-books
Gr. 2-3. Cute, humorous, and community-focused stories set in an unnamed country in Africa. I can see it being a good read-aloud.
Pa Dah
Sep 19, 2014 Pa Dah rated it it was ok
This book I like because it good story.

First Example when your read your will learn how to fix the car.

for the example this book you can read very well also understand better.

I hope you read this book your will feel good.
Jun 29, 2015 Esther rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2015 Elle rated it really liked it
oluwasase is the number 1 car spotter i his village and the number 1 pablum salver in his village so they call him number 1 in this book there many castrates and steps in and solves all of them this book hooked me in vary well and i cant wait to read part two
Ms. B
Jan 23, 2016 Ms. B rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, childrens, 2016
This book has been on my To-Read list for years. Finally, I spotted it at an Usborne Book Fair. For anyone who is looking for a multicultural story, this is perfect. No. 1 lives in a village in Nigeria (I believe) which is in Africa. This little chapter book is made up of four different stories about his extended family and their problems.
Along with The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cotell Boyce which takes place in Great Britian, but is about two boys from Mongolia, this would make a great class r
Jan 20, 2016 Katie rated it liked it
Male rural counterpart to Anna Hibiscus.
A.m. Layet
May 13, 2012 A.m. Layet rated it really liked it
From the first sentence we were transported from a messy, boys bedroom, somewhere in the UK, to the hot, dusty plains of Africa. By the second sentence we had discovered a central character we could recognise and like. By the third, we were no longer noticing sentences. I thought this book was wonderful. The characters so true to life, adults and children both, and the setting and culture so rich. My son loved it too. Tomorrow he wants to google a 'firebird', to see what they really look like.
Feb 19, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing
As much as I enjoy Atinuke's Anna Hibiscus books, this one is even better! Well, it's a better start to a new series (hint, hint!! Hope so!!) than the first Anna book was. It's got great cultural details, good characterization, terrific insight into family relations--and all in an easy, early-chapter-book format. Atinuke's storytelling skills come through clearly; this book will make a great read aloud as well as an independent read for early elementary students.
Steve Shea
Nov 16, 2015 Steve Shea rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-lit
Charming and light, with good pacing, interesting illustrations and lively page design. This would be a fun read-aloud for a K-1 classroom or a good independent read for a 2nd or 3rd grader who's pretty confident. Moderate vocab difficulty for that level (a sprinkling of harder, low-frequency words like "beckon" and "kerosene"), but a spirited introduction to a life unfamiliar to most Americans - an introduction that makes the unfamiliar much less so.
This is such a fun book! Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, or No. 1 as he likes to be called, is full of life. He loves to watch from cars as does his grandfather. Other characters also have unique names like Coca Cola and Emergency and Tuesday. I don't know if all of the names are explained later in the series, but they make me wonder.

The village works together and is a tight group. It's neat to see the way they work together.
Emily Ross
Jul 21, 2011 Emily Ross rated it really liked it
This was a very fun book by the author of the Anna Hibiscus Series. I read this to my boys at bedtime. My eldest enjoyed it so much after the first night that he had to read ahead & finish it first! A great way to introduce my kids to the similarities and differences of their life and a boy their age in a rural village in Africa.
Sep 08, 2014 Kevin rated it it was ok
A short middle grade book featuring several stories from a modern African village about a boy named No. 1 Car Spotter. It's written in that broken English style and while the stories were quirky and interesting, it wasn't very captivating. My kids tend to like whatever I read out loud to them and they never got into this one.
Oh how I wish these books by Atinuke were still in print in the US. Stories of everyday life in Africa are so rare . . . and this one is funny too, with a great sense of family and community, and a great first chapter book.
Nov 26, 2011 Donalyn rated it really liked it
You can tell that author Atinuke is a storyteller. The sing song cadence of her writing with a mix of Nigerian and English beg to be read aloud. A playful, but honest portrayal of village life.
Mar 05, 2012 Laura5 rated it it was amazing
I really with that I could have Atinuke read this entire book to me:

The Bud really liked No. 1, and wants me to bring home the next book about him tomorrow.
This is an adorable story - the main character is charming and so true to life. Great for showing a different cultural perspective on daily life in a fun and positive way.
Aug 08, 2013 Dayna rated it it was amazing
A really good story, you can feel similarities to the Anna Hibiscus series. Great writing with interesting stories.
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Atinuke is a Nigerian storyteller and author who now resides in Wales.
More about Atinuke...

Other Books in the Series

No.1 Car Spotter (4 books)
  • The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird (No.1 Car Spotter, #2)
  • The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves (No.1 Car Spotter, #3)
  • The No. 1 Car Spotter Goes to School (No.1 Car Spotter, #4)

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