This Old Van


This Old Van written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Carolyn Conahan (2015)

Hippy take on This Old Man. Gramps and Granny take a not-so-peaceful trip to their grandson’s Downhill Derby Race in their old van. With a “click clack rattle rack” they pass one train, two construction trucks, three tractors, etc. and make it just in time for the race. The rhythm is so perfect you’ll find yourself singing the song as you read the text.


This story is great fun! And I love that at the end, we can see their grandson hopping out of a race-van which looks just like Granny and Gramps’ old van. And when you look at the other vehicles in the race, you’ll see replicas of the other nine vehicles Granny and Gramps passed on the road to the race.

Of course having your own race is the obvious choice to bring this text alive, but how about introducing your little one to the peace, love, and happiness of hippie art?

Easy ‘tie-dye’ effects on white cotton shirts or canvas sneakers: Decorate with colorful sharpie markers. Then spread color with an eyedropper of rubbing alcohol. Dry completely before wearing.


Create peace symbols with paper plates and painters’ tape. Tape off the peace sign then decorate each section with crayons, markers, paint etc. Remove the tape and hang your creation proudly!

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