Behind the Wheel of Cars! Cars! Cars!
The author and illustrator of the children’s book that accompanies MoMA’s Automania exhibition discusses its making.
Sep 22, 2021
On the occasion of its publication and the Automania exhibition, we asked Kimi Weart, author and illustrator of the newly published children’s book Cars! Cars! Cars!, to share some insights into how it came about.
Making this book was like attempting to mix shredded zucchini into chocolate muffin batter to trick kids into eating their vegetables.
Spread from Cars! Cars! Cars!
How did you come up with the wonderfully car-obsessed main character, Rosario, and her way of thinking about cars?
When initially brainstorming the story, I recalled a friend’s son who adores cars. He memorizes facts about them, down to the granular level. Many kids become obsessed with mastering knowledge about automobiles, trains, dinosaurs etc., all noticeably larger than adults. It’s a way they can gain authority in a life of very little agency.
That is mirrored in society’s obsession with cars—the desire to feel powerful, in control, and free. To be “in the driver’s seat.” To be “behind the wheel” of your life.
At the heart of Rosario’s mania is the desire to be master of her own destiny. But she is also a modern child and is no dummy when it comes to admitting the problems of society’s need for more and more cars.
Follow @momadesignstore on Instagram to see author Kimi Weart read from Cars! Cars! Cars! in celebration of National Book Month on October 1.
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From childhood favorites to parents’ picks for toddlers or teens, Museum staff share beloved art-themed kid’s books.
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