Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is The Littlest Streetcar by author-illustrator Vernon Smith. What a sweet story!
Written & Illustrated by: Vernon Smith
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. (February 2017)
Suitable for ages: 3 and up
Themes/Topics: Self-Concept, Self-esteem, New Orleans, Louisiana, Streetcars & Trains, Transportation
Brief Synopsis: This is a story about a little streetcar named Charlie who wasn’t as popular as other streetcars because he was a maintenance vehicle. Convinced he was “just a worker car”, Charlie didn’t feel worthy or as important as the other streetcars until his skills helped them out of trouble. Charlie then realized he is appreciated and valuable and special, just they way he is.
“Charlie the Streetcar liked to roll down the tracks and enjoy his day. It made him very happy, because he didn’t go out all the time like the other streetcars.
Some days, Charlie was called upon to put sand on the rails. This would create traction, so the other streetcars could move without the wheels slipping and sliding.”
Why I like this book: This is such an endearing story with a wonderful message. The Littlest Streetcar reminds readers that there is something special about each and every one of us. The artwork is colorful and expressive showing every character’s personality. See if you can find the spread where Vernon Smith gives a shout out to The King Cake Babythe first book we both published with Pelican; he as the illustrator.
In the back matter Smith gives a brief history about New Orleans streetcars and his inspiration for writing the story.
Learn more here about New Orleans Streetcars. And if you are ever in the city take a ride on one!
Read the history of trams, trolleys, and streetcars here and or visit your local train museum.