summer traffic hacks with Richard Scarry

Summer Traffic Goldbug

For those of you who are road trippin’ this summer, I have a traffic report:

It’s bad out there.

Real bad.


If you get behind the wheel, chances are high that 10,000 other people are also doing so simultaneously and they’re ALL heading in your same direction. Highways? Clogged. Lanes? Closed. Construction is bringing everything and everyone to a halt. Consider yourself a lucky speed-demon if you’re inching toward your destination at three miles per hour. I know it’s hard to stay positive when your lower back is screaming, your kids are screaming, and your bladder, well, it’s screaming (HELP!) too. That’s why I’m offering you the following advice.

You need to get a new car.

Before you get upset about this and start furiously crunching the numbers, hear me out. Because I’ve done the research and the results suggest that there are better ways to get around this planet.

The answers, my friends, can be found on the pages of one genius book: Richard Scarry’s 1974 classic, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.


On the off-chance that you’re not familiar with it, the book depicts the The Pig Family as they head to the beach for a picnic. Along the way, they encounter all kinds of traffic and traffic situations i.e. a runaway steamroller and a watermelon avalanche. And while they eventually make it to their picnic and back home again just fine, the real winners can be found in the crazy collection of vehicles they pass, hundreds of them. Some of these, I feel certain, will solve your traffic problems. Here you go:

The Pencil Car: Just think, if you were stuck on the highway in this you could easily jot down your grocery list or maybe even compose your memoir. Don’t worry about stopping for gas because this runs on lead. And if you make a driving mistake? Just erase it.

Richard Scarry pencil car

The Pickle Car: If you pay close attention, and you are very dill-igent, this car will lead you to every deli along your route. This has been voted the Number One “Late Night Snack Auto” by the National Alliance of Pregnant Women.

pickle car Richard Scarry(see Goldbug in there? He pops up on most pages…)

The Doughnut Car: Sure, the wheels turn, but the whole car can roll, too. This comes in especially handy if there happens to be a powdered sugar spill on the road. And cops wouldn’t dare pull you over in this (or, wait, is the exact opposite true?)

Doughnut Car Richard Scarry

The Ant Bus: This is for those of you who have ever found yourself feeling judgmental (or envious) of motorcycles, which are small and wily enough to illegally speed forward between two lanes of stopped cars. In order to catch some of their tailwind, just shrink yourself down to the size of an ant and hop in!

Ant Bus Richard Scarry

The Cheese Car: Very aerodynamic and built to be shared. Don’t forget to pack crackers for all your friends.

Cheese car Richard Scarry

Battery-Powered Car: Way back in 1974, Scarry certainly had his finger on the pulse of something on this one. What he might not have predicted is how you can conveniently charge all your devices while you ride.

Battery Powered Car Richard Scarry

So, which car is it going to be for you? I’m obviously choosing the doughnut car for our next trip, because that’s how I…roll. See you on the road!

Wondering why I know so much about this book? Because I have now read it approximately 5,176 times with our two year old son. (Thank you to our friends Danielle and Chase for the gift!) We have gotten hours of entertainment from this one book – there is so much to look at on each page and that little Goldbug is pretty much a family member at this point. I highly recommend this for your child or for a baby/toddler gift.


Speaking of trips, have you ever tried to pack your luggage with a toddler underfoot? Here is the newest edition of the Chronicles of Parenting, my humor column at Nyack News and Views.

And if you’d like more home tome, vroom on over to my TWITTER account or my FACEBOOK page.

Summer Traffic Hacks with Richard Scarry


9 replies

    • I know you can spend a long time on each one of those pages, always something new to see…I used to like very clean minimalistic books and now I feel the exact opposite. I might try a cheese car too…just not sure how it will do in this heat… 🙂

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