Book Review: My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer


My Side of the Car by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer

Sadie and her dad are finally heading to the zoo.  Their trip has been cancelled for several reasons that Sadie can clearly remember, but today nothing can stop the trip.  They are on their way to the zoo when Sadie’s father points out that it’s raining.  Sadie looks  out her window and says that it isn’t raining on her side of the car.  Her father keeps driving, because all Sadie sees out her window is sunshine and lots of people heading to zoos.  People on her side of the car are watering their lawns, though it’s pouring on her father’s side of the car.  When they get to the zoo, Sadie’s father allows her to decide if they should stay, because it is raining hard on his side of the car.  Sadie decides that it would be too wet to go to the zoo in the rain.  So they reluctantly head home, until her father notices that the sun is out on his side of the car…

This picture book is inspired by a real-life event between author Kate Feiffer and her father, illustrator Jules Feiffer.  They share their version of the event that inspired the book at the end of the picture book, and Kate continues to insist that it was never raining on her side of the car.  That’s be beauty of personal perspective and the power of imagination and expectations for children.  This book captures it with humor and because it is told from Sadie’s point of view, with an honestly and care for the child view.

The combination of the fresh point of view from Kate Feiffer and the loose-lined art of her father is a winning one.  The imaginative power of Sadie never wavers in Kate’s writing.  The humor of the text and its attitude is reflected effectively in the illustrations as well.

Highly recommended, this book reminded me of both my own strong convictions as a child and those of my own children.  It is a testament to the imagination and creativity through which children view the world.  Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by

Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Winners

The Ontario Library Association gave out their 2011 Forest of Reading Awards:

Blue Spruce Award (Grades K-2)

My Think-A-Ma-Jink by Dave Whamond


Silver Bird Express Award (Grades 3-4)

Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires


Silver Birch Fiction Award (Grades 4-6)

Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester


Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award (Grades 4-6)

How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt and Fred Rix


Red Maple Fiction Award (Grades 7-8)

Not Suitable for Family Viewing by Vicki Grant


Red Maple Non-Fiction Award (Grades 7-8)

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland


White Pine Award (Grades 9-12)

The Monkeyface Chronicles by Richard Scarsbrook


Le Prix Tamarack (Grades 4-6, French-language)

 La Quête du dernier dodo: Les Adventures de Cosmo le Dodo by Patrice Racine


Le Prix Tamarack Express (Grades 4-6, French-language)

Les Dragouilles 2 – Les Bleues de Montréal by Maxim Cyr and Karine Gottot

Anyone read any of them?  I really enjoyed Binky the Space Cat, but haven’t read any of the others.  And the Les Dragouilles 2 looks very appealing, but I’d have to have it in English.