written by Michael J. Rosen and Ben Kassoy
2013 (Millbrook Press)
Source: Orange County Library
Check out Nonfiction Monday for more links.
The name of my childhood dentist was Dr. Sunshine. No kidding. His calling card was a three wheeled yellow vehicle. I'm also old enough to have grown up in the James Bond era where cars drove out of the water like submarines on wheels. So it's no surprise that I'm intrigued by Bizarre Vehicles. Thirteen different modes of transportation are presented in this eye-catching title. Some travel through the air, while others go in the water or stay on the ground in unique ways. For example, zorbing is a way to roll from point A to point B. A zorb is a ball inside a ball. You climb into the sphere and become hamster like. If that is not enough of an adrenaline rush, you can try hydrozorbing where water is pumped inside the ball and you can float in water instead of being strapped to a harness. Not interested in rolling? Maybe you want to hover in the air above your friends. If so, try the Moller Neuera. You can go about 10 feet in the air and fly your way to your destination. The height is low enough to avoid airspace and filing flight plans. Do a little investigating and you'll find an interesting history to this vehicle. If you find water to be more your speed, try the aquaskipper.
Bizarre Vehicles is a fun read that can stir your imagination. Some spin-off activities include having students create their own dream vehicle and writing about how it could be used. If you are studying length measurement, there are plenty of those in this book. Students could measure height, width, and/or length to match the measurements in the book and give classmates a sense of the size of these vehicles. I would start off with the Kerala Snake Boat which can easily hold over 50 people.