Night Cars: gorgeous dreamlike picture book about the traffic below the bedroom

Teddy Jam and Eric Beddows's 1988 classic picture book Night Cars has me absolutely charmed. It's a beat-poetry story of a little boy who drifts in and out of sleep while, on the commercial road below him, cars and people pass by in the night.

The writing is beautiful ("Night cars humming through the snow/Night cars drifting/Night cars slow/Night cars calling out your name/Night cars in your dreams"), and begs to be read aloud, metronomic and soothing.

It's not just the writing that's so enchanting here, it's the sweet, nostalgic paintings, tinged with Dick-and-Jane pastel qualities, but with a dreamlike softness that makes me yawn and want to put my head down on them (click above for a larger scan).

One of the coolest things about fatherhood is discovering some of the really tremendous art — in all media — that's targetted at small children. This is a book that begs to be read to a small child in her jammies snuggled in your lap, sweet-smelling hair tickling the underside of your chin.

Night Cars