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The Racecar Alphabet

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  199 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A is for Automobiles, machines on wheels.
B is for Belts turning, fuel burning, the buzz and bark of engines.
C is for Curves and crowds and cars, of course --
A century of racecars, from bare beginnings to present-day marvels, from stock cars to Formula 1, from Ford to Ferrari, caught in crackling action, in fan-friendly pictures, and in words that bounce and jounce for
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Cathy
Sep 17, 2011 Cathy rated it liked it
A is for Automobiles, machines on wheels.

B is for Belts turning, fuel burning, the buzz and bark of engines.

C is for Curves and crowds and cars, of course —

A century of racecars, from bare beginnings to present-day marvels, from stock cars to Formula 1, from Ford to Ferrari, caught in crackling action, in fan-friendly pictures, and in words that bounce and jounce for the fun of it.

Cute alphabet word plays, but over most alphabet-book-readers' heads. My little car lover loved it though, irregardl
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Katie Fitzgerald
May 07, 2011 Katie Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing
This is an alphabet book all about race cars. Instead of the traditional alphabet book format, however, where each page shows a letter and an object beginning with that letter, this book takes a different approach. Like Graeme Base in Animalia (1986) Brian Floca writes a statement or verse on each page, where every word begins with or includes the sound of the featured letter.

For H, we have Helmets holding heads.

The page for J is designed in such a way that the text looks blurry. The words also
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Mary Ann
Feb 03, 2014 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing
Dynamite! Wow oh wow! Kids will be drawn in by his dynamic illustrations, but they'll come back again and again for the layers of information they discover with each reading.

You can just about feel the wind and hear the roar as you see the 1934 Mercedes-Benz thundering across the cover, can't you? But this is no ordinary alphabet book. Floca combines alliteration, rhythm and rhymes to pull readers right in. Here are the opening stanzas:

Automobiles--
machines on wheels.//

Belts turning,
fuel burnin
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Kelly
Jan 10, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Smart to put number 26 on cover of book - 26 letters in alphabet. Amazing that a story is told with the letters of the alphabet in order. ABC book with a story and Floca's illustrations! Wonderful.
Brandy
Dec 30, 2011 Brandy rated it it was amazing
I'm going to have to read this one every night for the next two years, so i'm glad it is well done.
Amy
Jan 13, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
Well, this was an interesting book. I checked it out mainly for my nephew, but once I read the text I thought my niece might enjoy it too. The kids listened to the story, but there wasn't really a whole lot of excitement coming from either one of them.

I think that my nephew would have enjoyed the book a lot more if the pictures had been of modern race cars as opposed to the older style cars. He's been raised on Lightning McQueen, for goodness sake, so anything less than a modern NASCAR style car
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Jennifer
Apr 06, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4-9 year olds who like cars
Recommended to Jennifer by: SPL Reading List
This is the kind of book that an eight-year old sits down to try to memorize the end pages. Fresh realistic illustrations and zingy, thoughtful prose elicit cheers for this alphabet book about racecars.



CIP: An exciting day at the races highlights the letters of the alphabet as a variety of automobiles burn fuel speeding through the curves of the track.

"Hold onto your hats." Kirkus Reviews
"While clever, the writing is occasionally stilted." School Library Journal

(NOTE-not part of 25 wordreview):
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Alice
Feb 19, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
This is a really fun alphabet book. Each letter is alliterative. I also like all the cars (Thanks to BBC's Top Gear....I know my cars) and the progressions from A to an oldies car from the 1920 and Z being modern day. My favorite 2 letters were J and O.

My only criticism of this book is YES it is an alphabet book, but I isn't for preschoolers. With the alliteration, you get the letter but for the letter N you can't have "KNOW" as part of the alliteration --too confusing... Also, for an alphabet b
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Betsy
Oct 25, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
This book is GREAT. As with most of Floca's nonfiction picture books, this is not a picture book for a 2 or 3 year old. Rather, the 6-8 year old crowd (or even older) will enjoy it more.

Made for racecar fans, the details in this book are stunning. Yes, it's an alphabet book, but that ends up being more of an organization scheme that shows Floca's talent off nicely. Each car is numbered with a number 1-26 and shows up on the corresponding letter's page. Sometimes we only see the number in a rear
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Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
The Racecar Alphabet
Brian Floca
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
2003
The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca is one of the books I run to as a librarian for children who are very into cars and may be reluctant readers. This is one of the best alphabet books out there for this type of child. Children learning their alphabet will like the pictures connect 26 racing terms and concepts with each letter of the alphabet. I really liked the page on J which added a shadow to the text of "Jarring, Jerk, jolt,
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D'metria
This book discusses the different aspects of car racing in alphabetical order. Whether we are talking about “… automobiles, belts turning, fuel burning, the buzz and bark of engines, or curves and crowds and cars.” This book contains many different words that reference things that have effects on speed, such as curves; which is a great class discussion topic: What are some things that can stop or slow motion of any object down. What happens to a car when it comes to a curve too fast? The book al ...more
D'metria
This book discusses the different aspects of car racing in alphabetical order. Whether we are talking about “… automobiles, belts turning, fuel burning, the buzz and bark of engines, or curves and crowds and cars.” This book contains many different words that reference things that have effects on speed, such as curves; which is a great class discussion topic: What are some things that can stop or slow motion of any object down. What happens to a car when it comes to a curve too fast? The book al ...more
Laura G
Feb 26, 2014 Laura G rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks-nf
OK, I am officially a Brian Floca fan! Between Locomotive and this book, I am sold! Like Locomotive, this book was well-researched and presented great information--this time about race cars and racing in a simpler poetic alphabet book format. It provides a great model for students to present what they have learned through their research in an ABC book. Begs to be used for vocabulary and verb study. I see it as a book to be enjoyed and used for instruction with elementary school students, as oppo ...more
Erin Buhr
Jun 12, 2015 Erin Buhr rated it really liked it
I picked this book up because it was written by Brian Floca. In our experience his books are all winners and this was no exception. An alphabet book that tells the story of a race through the streets in celebration of 100 Years of Racecars. I love Brian Floca's illustrations, but his mastery of language and unique way of approaching a subject are what keep me coming back. We always learn a lot from his books and this one is packed full of information about race cars and racing. Find a Brian Floc ...more
Beth
Jul 26, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing
Poetic langauge, active engaging pictures, great concept - racecars race through time and the alphabet. And in the end, the red car wins (as my son age 4 remarked) the end paper give detailed information about the make and year of the car. I think this book woke the dormant car-love that my older son had lost.
Bailey
Feb 11, 2016 Bailey rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-reads-books
This is a great book for learning the alphabet. It has many different words for each letter so it shows what different sounds that letter can make. Many kids think race cars are cool so this book would be very fun to learn with. It even shows different kinds of race cars! It would be harder to teach the actually abcs with this book because it has more words on the pages. Overall, a good book.
Becky
Jul 20, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it
This book shows the history of the race car over the course of 100 years in the illustrations. Each picture shows cars that are a little more modern. The text is wonderful. Each letter has an alliterative phrase or sentence - "Motor, mighty motor, maker of motion - roars like a monster, minded and mended by many mechanics." - that tells about racing. Fun book!
Becky B
Nov 05, 2012 Becky B rated it really liked it
I'm not particularly into cars or racing, but I thought this was a great picture book. It is a wonderful example of an alphabet book with captivating artwork and poetry. Each page has a creative, alliterative phrase that corresponds to the letter of the alphabet and describes some aspect of racing.
Samantha
Sep 09, 2016 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A fast-paced alphabet book narrating a car race. Applying alliteration, and onamonapia this book can teach a multitude of content. It provides a resource for alphabet practice, the details of vehicles, and the driving of vehicles. A fun bonus: a historical timeline of race cars on the inside of the front and back cover. Even my 3 Month old baby loved the pictures and fun diction!
Deborah Joyner
Sep 09, 2011 Deborah Joyner rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Ethan enjoyed this book, but doesn't understand enough about cars to really sit and listen to all the alphabet sounds - he kept wanting to skip past the longer sections. I loved the illustrations and the way the cars are numbered.
Jim
Jun 17, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing
Fantastic!

A visual history of racing disguised as an alphabet book.

The only negative is the lack of specifics. No Daytona or Pike's Peak, A.J. Foyt or Michael Shumacher, Mazda of Ford but even w/out them circle track, open wheel and street racing are shown.

Great gift.
Rachel Goley
Mar 26, 2014 Rachel Goley rated it really liked it
I loved this book, again his illustrations are beautiful. However, I wish he would put more diversity in his images. In this book all of the illustrations show white people except for the one image on the back of the book.
Alicia Scully
Jun 21, 2014 Alicia Scully rated it it was amazing
This book is a car themed alphabet book, but it far surpasses the usual alphabet book. We have a full narrative here filled with words that correspond to each letter and the vocabulary is vast. The book has a lot of action and has some funny moments as well. Not your average alphabet book.
Curriculum
Sep 29, 2008 Curriculum rated it liked it
Using an enormous amount of consonance, the author tells the story of a race that begins in 1901 and ends in 2001. Each page reflects a letter, although the letters are not displayed and 18 models of 20th century cars. Finally, a concept book on consonance for boys!
Heather
Sep 29, 2008 Heather rated it liked it
Using an enormous amount of consonance, the author tells the sotry of a race that begins in 1901 and ends in 2001. Each page reflects a letter (though not displayed) and 18 models of cars are shown from the 20th century.
Kristin Miller
This is a good book for Kindergarten through 2nd grade and going over the alphabets. It is pretty entertaining and I feel that students would learn many new words that start with the beginning letters.
Lindsay
alphabet, race cars

uses too big of words for little kids
Rebecca
Jul 21, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Delightful alliterative, rhythmic read with rich vocabulary. An alphabet book with real gearhead details and elegant language. A new favorite!
Sandy Brehl
As a themed alphabet book this makes a nice addition to collections, but it also offers opportunities for number concept and language development.
Heather
Dec 10, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
Love the alliteration. Fun to read aloud. I like "C." Also subtle enough to not read like a primary reader "A is for ____."
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Brian Floca is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winner Locomotive, the Robert F. Sibert Honor books Moonshot and Lightship, and other picture books, and is the illustrator of many more books for young readers. Brian Floca lives and works in Brooklyn.
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