Another in Scieszka’s Trucktown series, this one features a boisterous truck race from A to Z.
“C is for Construction, Curbs and Cones and Crashes! / D is for Dan Dump Truck, who Dumps his Dirt then Dashes!” While not all letters feature such density of alliteration, Scieszka manages to pack quite a lot in. He also takes advantage of the world he’s built to upend some conventions. In many alphabet books, the text observes, Q often stands for “quiet,” but “[i]n Trucktown Q means ‘quite’ ”—as in “QUITE LOUD!” The one letter that seems off track is X: “Look out—X! A Xylophone? No one knows just why scary Big Rig has one.” Since silliness is the name of Scieszka’s game here, that’s OK. Z is for Izzy the ice cream truck, who wins the race. The digital illustrations comically animate each truck with google-eyed faces, expressions and appropriate characteristics: Big Rig sports a scowl, two hornlike exhaust pipes and a fearsome grille (he can play the xylophone all day if he wants); Wrecking Crane Rosie has a pink wrecking ball and an amiable expression. They really rev up the action. The droves of truck fans will love identifying the individual trucks as they race and cheer at the ending.
Clever fun, swooshing with motion and energy, this latest in the series will keep readers racing their engines for more. (Alphabet picture book. 4-8)