Help kids learn about the USA with this BOOK!

Originally posted from The Malibu Surfside News… BIG THANKS for this one! (Fireball Tim’s BIG BOOK OF WACKY STATES)

If California was a car, what would it look like? 

Don’t worry, there’s no right or wrong answer — but there is one place you can look for one Malibu man’s take on it.

And what about Florida? Perhaps it’s a “flamin’ go” hot wheel that’s catapulting over a crocodile en route to the Keys. 

Louisiana? Easy. It’s a vehicle made of instruments which is driven by a crawfish. 

Illinois? Well it’d be an aquabus driven by a white-tailed deer, of course.

Those are just a few snapshots of what Fireball Tim Lawrence authored and illustrated in his latest children’s book, “Fireball Tim’s BIG BOOK of Wacky States: The Best Book for Kids on the USA Ever!”

Lawrence serves as a TV show host, a Hollywood car designer, a seven-time author with his own publishing house (Vlogmaster Publishing) and a Malibu Surfside News Ride of the Week columnist (if you haven’t already, check out this week’s column on Page 22). 

Lawrence’s latest book, published in late October, travels the United States from edge to edge, offering clever illustrations, tidbits of wacky knowledge — Did you know that fortune cookies were invented in California? — and details such as state animals, state trees, state flags and state capitals.

“It’s really fun, and the response I’ve gotten from the parents is ‘Wow, I didn’t even know that,’” Lawrence said.

The target audience for the book is children ages 3-10, but Lawrence assures that it “doesn’t come across as a little kid’s book.” Lawrence adds that there’s tidbits in some illustrations that young children may not fully grasp, such as New York’s “roach city.” Teenagers might appreciate different aspects of the illustrations than 3-year-olds will, he said.

“I just thought from a kid’s perspective, ‘what would I enjoy’ and ‘what would I learn?’” Lawrence said.

This winter, Lawrence will be taking his book and his drawing talents to Webster Elementary and Our Lady of Malibu School for a “wacky car seminar” in which he will ask the students to tell him some of their favorite objects, and he will then make a car out of it. 

“I think that I relate to kids really well and I like the fact that they’re pure and they’re genuine,” Lawrence said. “They tell you exactly how it is.”

Lawrence’s wife, Kathie Lawrence, will also attend the school visits, sharing a creative passion of her own. Kathie, through KCL Productions, builds mascots for sports teams, movies and, recently, for Ellen DeGeneres’ “12 Days of Christmas.” Kathie also has a children’s book of her own, “Smokey and Bandit Find a Home,” which Lawrence contributed to.

Lawrence hopes the duo’s visits might inspire a child or two. After all, when he was growing up, he didn’t know how to be involved with cars outside of being a mechanic. Years later, he’s found his niche — and then some. 

“To spread my love of vehicles and really love of creativity, you have to find a way to be able to do that that you enjoy [and] that you love,” Lawrence said.

For Lawrence, that path has been filled with creativity and cars — real and imaginary — and it’s a gig that suits him well. 

Lawrence’s latest book is available for purchase on 

  • Lauren Coughlin, Editor

** A portion of the proceeds from this book go to The National Mill Dog Rescue!

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