The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird important to your customers … and to you!
Oluwalase Babatunde Benson is the No. 1 car spotter in his small African village. He lives together with the other children, the women, and the elderly. Most of the people rely on their own goats, and on selling food to passersby in order to make a living. No. 1 may be the best at spotting cars, but he does not excel at things he is supposed (sic) good at, like using a slingshot accurately or staying quiet when the elders are talking. He is, however, a problem solver. When he can’t hit a leopard with his slingshot and prevent it from taking his family’s goats, he comes up with an even better solution involving his grandfather’s shirt, and some chili pepper soup. When travelers’ cars get stuck because of the rains, No. 1 uses his invention of the “Cow-rolla” to ferry them to dry land. The language in this collection of stories is that of storytelling. While it may stutter on the page, it is clear that reading it aloud would be not only entertaining, but magical as well. Sharing it would also provide the opportunity to explain some of the inevitable questions that children would have about No. 1’s friends’ names (Coca Cola, Nike, Emergency) and the bigger idea of Westernization, culture, and community. The text is peppered with a good number of illustrations that add humor and move the story along. Even though No. 1’s living situation is different from that of many children, readers will identify with his can-do spirit and enthusiasm.