The Two Cars
Publication Date: August 21, 2007
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In The Two Cars the celebrated husband and wife team of Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, famous for their illustrated versions of Norse and Greek myths, offer young children a playful modern twist on the ancient fable of the tortoise and the hare.
Two cars sit side by side in the same garage. One is fast, shiny, and ready to go; the other is a comfortable old jalopy, a little worse for wear but as reliable as can be. On a magic moonlit night, the doors of the garage swing open and they head out for a spin, each determined to prove that he is the “best car on the road.” Over hill and dale and roundabout they go, encountering—and narrowly missing—trains, trucks, wildlife, and even, in the form of a policeman on a motorcycle, the long arm of the law. Before the two cars’ nocturnal caper is over, each will have discovered the being the “best” is not so simple as you might suppose.
Edgar Parin d'Aulaire (1898-1986) studied art in Germany and France, and worked with Henri Matisse. In Munich, he met Ingri Mortenson (1904-1980), a Norwegian-born art student. They married, emigrated to the US, and began a long career together, during which they published over twenty picture books for children. The Magic Rug was followed by Ola and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, both of which describe Norwegian folklore. Their work shifted to American history with Abraham Lincoln, a biography which won the 1940 Caldecott Medal. The d'Aulaires were awarded the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association in 1970.
"Several classic children's tales return to delight new generations of readers. The Two Cars by the distinguished author/illustrator team of Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire is a modern adaptation of The Tortoise and the Hare, in which safe and courteous driving wins the day. Delicate pencil illustrations and a plot delivered at a pace fit for a turnpike should prove as enchanting to today's automotively inclined children as when the book was first published in 1955." --Publishers Weekly
“Whatever subject the well-known d’Aulaires offer in picture and story to the nursery set will be welcomed eagerly, for they have understanding hearts…” —The Christian Science Monitor
“The d’Aulaires now add to their list of distinguished picture books a fable about two little cars…It’s a jolly little tale with a surprise ending which is a good lesson for all of us.” —The Chicago Daily Tribune
“The Two Cars is a modern story on the hare and tortoise motif for preschool children…by one of children’s favorite illustrators.” —The Washington Post
“[T]his is a just right picture story for all small boys who consider automobiles the most fascinating things in all the world…The pictures are amusing and the personification of the automobiles is done with a masterly use of mechanical detail.” —The New York Times