The No.1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves


We return to Oluwalase’s village, where Grandfather sits beneath the tree, CocaCola carts drinks to Mama CocaCola’s chop house, Emergency and Tuesday fish, while Nike and Sissy haul firewood. Meanwhile Oluwalase, better known as The No.1 Car Spotter sits high in a tree. He’s listening out for passing vehicles that Mama CocaCola might fire up her chop house and fry akara, chicken and goat to lure hungry travellers.

However, things are not as blissful as they might seem. It’s more than the cross words from Grandmother about No.’s level of assistance. It seems that the village is targeted by car thieves. Furthermore, these thefts are bigger, nationwide across Nigeria. Not only does this affect the fortunes and livelihood of the village, but means that such dreams as CocaCola attending school, must be put at bay.

Therefore, how does No,1 become involved in criminal activity that is so high level and professionally crafted? How might a village boy ‘in torn and dirty shorts‘ hope to crack such a well-oiled case?

It all comes clear in the satisfying The No,1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves. Bookwagon loves this series and recommends this title, which further recommends our hero, highly. The No,1 Car Spotter is ‘our No,1 boy’! 

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The No,1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves

Atinuke, with illustrations by Warwick Johnson Cadwell

(Walker Books)

Mama Coca Cola is desolate! It seems that The No.1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves have put paid to her thriving business. For a time she ‘could charge ten times the amount for her akara.’ After all, with No,1 up his tree, able to hear and call ahead about approaching vehicles, she could fire up her oven and so that the ‘smell of frying chicken and akara and goat meat has fully penetrated the air conditioning of the vehicles’. 
Yet what if car thieves put a stop to this? Could it be that there is a team operating somewhere from the town seeking to steal some of the wonderful vehicles that traverse the village road into the city? From ‘Mercedes- Benz ML 320! Peugeot 505! VW Jetta!‘ Then of course, there’s Prof’s car, the one and only Firebird…
Prof tells the village that ‘cars are being stolen all over the country’. Grandfather explains that this is not a ‘rich man’s problem’ only, for it impacts on everyone. Certainly now, it seems that their village is suffering and Coca-Cola can no longer look forward to going to school.
So what might The No.1 Car Spotter do to change the situation? We have huge faith in Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, otherwise known as No.1. He’s sharp, determined and always keen to prove Sissy wrong and Grandfather right. Let’s join the adventure in The No.1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves.


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