A lively imagination is a beautiful thing.
“Carter wanted a puppy. / He got a truck.” So begins this whimsical tale of a little round-faced, brown-skinned, curly-haired boy who doesn’t linger over what he lacks but makes the very best of what he does have. This toy truck with a bright red cab and a yellow cargo bed becomes his constant companion. Carter pets Puppy Truck, attaches a leash to it, and takes it to the park, where it chases squirrels and exclaims, “Vroom beep bark!”—a frequent vocalization. Carter meets a little girl, whose brown skin is a little lighter than his own, sitting on a park bench; she admires Puppy Truck so much that she gets an idea of her own that surfaces at the end of the story. Pinkney brings this story to life with a pale-yellow background for the acrylic and India ink illustrations, in which the swift movements of the boy, Puppy Truck, and the squirrel are ever apparent. Since this story has so few words, preschool readers will easily be able to tell it on their own after a few times of hearing it read aloud.
An important mirror book for the youngest of black and brown readers, this lighthearted story will likely be a favorite for storytime—especially with little ones who love things that go VROOM! (Picture book. 3-6)