A quick read through of Racecar Dreams by Sharon Chriscoe with illustrations by Dave Mottram reveals an exciting day for a racecar who is intensely focused on his goals.
He’s so focused that he falls asleep dreaming about winning the big race. If you have children who play any form of sports, that might sound familiar. Most children and kids who are into sports will love this book because it validates their passion.
What’s not so obvious is the absence of a traditional arc in the story. Most stories resolve children’s problems. Racecar doesn’t have a an issue. That makes it hard to get a publisher. Racecar Dreams is not a “kid solves problem” book like Brave Squish Rabbit or a super-quiet bedtime book like The Quiet Book. Ms. Chriscoe convinced a major publisher to invest in the book by revealing Racecar’s vision.
Further, Racecar Dreams works because Sharon Chriscoe employs the skilled use of poetic meter in the story. Also, many children like the idea of a little noise (e.g. “vroom”) at bedtime. When Chriscoe’s story, which parallels many of the things that children do as they get ready to go to bed, is combined with the playful and colorful illustrations of Dave Mottram a book that’s a joy to read at bedtime results. Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com.
I read Racecar Dreams, and I am Jazz on the same day, and I asked myself, “What can I write that will have the beauty and energy of Racecar Dreams combined with a social statement that helps children who are “different” to feel good about themselves. The answer came back quickly–a book about wheelchairs that zip and zoom around to help children enjoy life. I’ve been working on that book for a year now. I’m not sure if it will wind up with the name of Safari Sam, Turbo Tim, or Wheelchair Fantasies.
My focus for the last year has been making having a wheelchair that wants to do zoo tours, but I’m thinking of expanding the scope of the story.
Two things that I do know is that I will eventually finish it and that it will help special needs children feel proud of their accomplishments.
I’m not sure if the book will be in rhyme or prose. I keep going back and forth between the two, so I’d appreciate your giving me your opinion.
Please use my contact form to let me know which title you prefer and any opinions you have about rhyme, meter or content. Thanks. 😃