Posted by shelburns on 1st December 2008
Another Lee & Low book; thank you Hannah!
Author: Mark Weston
Illustrator: Katie Yamasaki
Review copy provided by: publisher – Lee & Low Books
About the Book: One day in 1914 when Soichiro Honda was seven years old, an astonishing, moving dust cloud appeared in his small Japanese town. The cause was a leaky, noisy automobile—the first the boy had ever seen. At that moment Honda fell in love with cars, and a dream took hold. He would one day make them himself.
It took Honda many years to reach his goal. Along the way he became an expert mechanic and manufacturer of car parts. After World War II he developed a motorized bicycle, the forerunner of his innovative motorcycles. Eventually Honda began manufacturing cars, first race cars and then consumer cars. Constantly seeking ways to make his products better than his competitors’, Honda grew into a global industry leader.
Soichiro Honda had an inventive mind and a passion for new ideas, and he never gave up on his dream. A legendary figure in the world of manufacturing, Honda is a dynamic symbol of lifelong determination, creativity, and the power of a dream.
My Review: Another great biography about someone I didn’t know. I can see young boys picking this book up and just being enthralled because of the cars, motorcycles, motors, etc. I love how the author, Mark Weston, not only told the story of Soichiro Honda, but also did some teaching through this book. He took the time to explain car parts to the reader. For example:
“He learned how to fix every part of a car. He rebuilt carburetors, which mix air with gasoline, and he replaced the spark plugs that ignite this combustible mixture to power the engine and get a car going. He adjusted brakes, patched tires, and put in new water pumps. He even fixed transmissions, the gears that turn cars’ wheels and allow cars to speed up and slow down.”
Honda had to work hard to reach his goals, and this book does a great job of showing that. It is a great message for children. Even though he was not a good student, he worked hard and even almost quit his job because all he wanted to do was know how a car works and make one himself. It’s a good thing he stuck it out with that job, because that is where he got his start. The garage owner saw Honda’s dedication and began to teach him basic repairs. This is a great book to share with students about starting at the bottom, persevering, and working your way up to where you want to be through hard work and dedication. I could see teachers and students using this book to study inventors. Again, Lee & Low gives readers another good multi-cultural title about a man that many have probably heard of, but know little about.
More info about the book:
Published: September 2008
Click here for a booktalk with the creators of Honda.