This old van,
she passed one,
shining in the rising sun.
With a click clack rattle rack,
ready for some fun,
This old van says,
Take a rollicking ride in This Old Van, a joyful take on the classic children’s counting song. As the colorfully painted vintage vehicle, driven by a really cool pair of grandparents, rolls down the highway, it passes one train, two bulldozers, three tractors, and four semis, right up to ten muddy motorbikes. And along the way, luggage flies off, horns honk, and the hurrying van zigs and zags—till it arrives at its destination JUST IN TIME! You won’t be able to resist singing every fun verse out loud.
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Norman has taken a favorite childhood song, “This Old Man, He Plays One” and turned it into a great vehicle counting book that celebrates the flower power van of the 1960s. Gramps and Granny are invited to grandson Jake’s big event. They are urged not to be late. The grandparents jump into their yellow van with flowers painted all over it and speed off down the road. We know they are in a hurry because the song tells us that they pass every vehicle they encounter on or off the road. One train, two construction vehicles, three tractors, four semis, five vintage cars, six dump trucks, seven pickup trucks with horse trailers, eight new cars on a car hauler, nine school buses, and ten dirt bikes. They arrive just in time to see Jake win the Downhill Derby in his little replica of the grandparents van. Of course, all the other competing vehicles are replicas of the cars, trucks, etc. that Gramps and Granny passed on their way. This is a delightful choice for preschoolers who adore cars and trucks of any kind. There are lots of details in the colorful illustrations for the child to search. Every vehicle has a face and the headlights are the eyes. VERDICT A fun addition to picture book collections.—Elaine Lesh Morgan, formerly at Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR