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THE BLUE PICKUP by Natasha Tripplett Kirkus Star


by Natasha Tripplett ; illustrated by Monica Mikai

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2024
ISBN: 9780063159877
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A little girl teaches her mechanic grandfather “the importance of taking care of old and forgotten things.”

In the garage, Ju-Girl works hard to help Granddad fix cars for their Jamaican community. The two take a break to sip Ting on the bed of Granddad’s pickup truck. As Granddad tells stories of his younger self, Ju-Girl learns how Blue Pickup connects her to the history of her community—Granddad drove Blue Pickup to deliver everything from newspapers to Jamaican calico cloth. But Ting time and daydreams must come to an end, because there’s work to be done and cars to be fixed. Still, Ju-Girl believes Blue Pickup can be restored to its former glory, perhaps with just an oil swap, new brakes, and a new battery—all of which she’s learned to recognize from dutifully assisting her granddad. Convinced, Granddad does all the fixes short of checking the oil, saving that for the excited little girl, who has the savvy of a veteran mechanic. As the two cruise around town, taking in the history and present of their vibrant neighborhood and picking up a socket set specifically for Ju-Girl, readers are left with the sense that all can be fixed with the right tools…and taking time out for Ting. Lively, richly saturated illustrations bring to life Ju-Girl’s beloved community, while the simple yet vivid text, filled with sensory descriptions, captures a child’s perspective perfectly.

A love letter to hard work and shared legacy.

(author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)