The Little Auto
By Lois Lenski; Publish Date: 1934, this edition published in 1946; Publisher: Oxford University Press, Hardcover, 48 pages
During the process of collecting vintage automotive/motor racing books it’s not uncommon to come across a range of books written for children. But it’s a special day to come across an old classic. The tenth book in my review series is a gem! The Little Auto by Lois Lenski is a charming story about Mr. Small and his little Auto. It also serves as a basic introduction to the automobile for children, illustrating the responsibility and care of the little Auto.
For most children their family automobile is just a means of travel to school or other family activity. The care and function of an automobile is not of their concern and is sometimes a mystery. This book serves as a simple introduction to the joy and satisfaction an automobile brings to people. It also rightly highlights the responsibility involved with its care and upkeep.
Mr. Small is shown taking care of the little Auto by changing the oil, pumping up the tires, putting water in the radiator, taking a drive, tooting the horn as a warning to some ducks and chickens, going up and down hills, obeying the traffic signals and signs, changing a flat tire, and finally a wash and wax. Mr. Small loves the experience of owning and caring for his little Auto. The story is a wonderful lesson of taking responsibility for something so important and special.
The book was produced by world renown author and illustrator Lois Lenski. Throughout her amazing career the Mr. Small series of books may well be the most beloved. The illustrations showcase her distinctive signature style, and the layout of the book is punctuated by simple and informative storytelling.
The Little Auto sits proudly on my bookcase shelves alongside books on Formula 1, Le Mans, Indianapolis, and countless biographies. The story of automobiles starts somewhere…Mr. Small does that so well.