A child spends time with a special toy in this debut picture book featuring illustrations in American Sign Language.
A blond, blue-eyed boy introduces a monster truck, spelling out the toy’s letters in ASL on the first page. “He goes EVERYWHERE with ME,” the kid announces. The boy describes the truck, adding a modifier that is also signed on each page: big, purple, fast, and loud. Readers can sign along with the child. One day, the boy gets up, eats breakfast, and heads to Grandma’s house, where more fun awaits: a monster truck rally with plenty of friends. The next day, the truck has vanished, and the boy signs his mixed emotions. Soon, Grandma arrives to return the toy, and all is well. Marcath uses simple language and repeating words, creating a narrative accessible to newly independent readers. Mehra and debut illustrator Liang’s digital cartoon images depict ASL clearly, delivering instructions and incorporating the signs into the narrative naturally and effectively. (The endmatter notes that Liang is deaf.) The kids in the cast are quite diverse in their skin tones, hair colors, and abilities. While new ASL learners may not be able to mimic the movements exactly without seeing them demonstrated, the team has provided a link to online videos that show the entire tale signed. Children who already use ASL will be thrilled to see their language skillfully represented in the story’s illustrations.
This bracing and illuminating bilingual tale deftly shows a kid’s love for a favorite truck.