A fascinating glimpse into the lives and work of an intriguing yet largely unfamiliar segment of society (and culture), both...



In this fictional tribute to a very popular art form—truck art—in Pakistan, a seasoned truck driver reminisces about his career and ruminates on the evolution of truck art.

Chinar Gul finally pays off the loan on his truck and travels over 200 miles to a truck-yard for his friend Zarrar, an artist, to paint it. This is no ordinary paint job. Truck art merges many art forms: painting, carpentry, calligraphy, metallurgy, and bazaar art (portraits, landscapes, and iconic representations of birds and animals) and is often personalized. Chinar likens it to “getting your house done up. It makes it welcoming and your own.” Chinar was a truck cleaner before eventually becoming a driver, wending his way along the treacherous mountain roads for 30 years. To have his own truck is “a dream of a lifetime” for him, and Zarrar proclaims, “This truck’s got to be special.” Chinar agrees. After Zarrar inscribes “Mashallah” on the crown of Chinar’s truck for divine protection, he paints mountain animals and landscapes on the sides. Accompanying the substantial text, monochromatic line drawings contrast effectively with the kaleidoscopic patterns and creatures on the trucks, illustrating how the resplendent beauty of truck art can brighten up an otherwise dreary, hard life.

A fascinating glimpse into the lives and work of an intriguing yet largely unfamiliar segment of society (and culture), both through the gorgeous art and the fascinating story. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-93-83145-42-3

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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A longer—but less interesting—text than the author's Never Kiss an Alligator (1989) and Elephants on the Beach (1990). Introducing both tree and and ground squirrels, with information on how they eat, live, and protect themselves plus some appealing bits on baby squirrels, the pedestrian text begins, ``Squirrels are furry, bright, lively little animals that are very busy,'' and concludes, ``Good night, busy squirrels, good night.'' The many appealing, colorful close-up photos are the best feature here. Index. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-525-65063-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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As is true of her previous books, Micklethwait (I Spy a Freight Train, p. 902, etc.) begins with the premise that art is accessible to everyone. By asking simple questions and playing easy matching games, readers learn to identify basic emotions and messages that are communicated through the universal language of images. Viewers are asked to find the hoop players in both Brueghel's ``Children's Games'' and a Japanese print of the same name, or to compare van Gogh's ``Bedroom at Arles'' with Lichtenstein's later rendition of the same room. Emotions, faces, smells, and animal noises are some of the ways Micklethwait invites children into these works of art. The color reproductions are excellent; a large format and roomy design allow readers to explore the paintings in detail. Included are well-known works and less familiar ones, with an emphasis on Western art. The most significant segment may be when readers are asked to make up their own stories of what's going on in several paintings. The stories behind the paintings are included, but the message is that what readers see in a painting has validity, that art need not be an elite subject. (Nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 1996

ISBN: 0-7894-1003-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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