BIG TRUCK DAY

A fun introduction to bookmobiles.

A community bustles about in preparation for a big day ahead.

A bookmobile and other vehicles are planning to convene in a parking lot. Everyone gets ready for Big Truck Day. Two children and an adult, all light-skinned, eat breakfast; meanwhile, a diverse group of adults load up a truck with books. (The accompanying text, “Start at the station and fill up the tank,” feels slightly confusing; though it’s a metaphor for fueling up for the day, it feels out of place in an otherwise literal book.) Then trucks and bikes head through the town until arriving at their destination—“It’s the library at last,” reads the text. People hold clipboards and sort books while trucks get settled. The simple rhymes are punctuated with onomatopoeia in a large font as vehicles travel and people gather and happily find books. The book is colorful, using seemingly every color of the rainbow, evoking the feeling of a busy summer day. Though the narrative is a little disjointed, the depiction of a diverse, supportive community is heartening, and spreads filled with vehicles will delight readers—a look at the inside of a tractor is especially enjoyable. Backmatter describes the history of the bookmobile and includes photos of various book delivery methods across the world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A fun introduction to bookmobiles. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-321886-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

LITTLE GRUMP TRUCK

Should appeal to all the little grump trucks hauling their feelings about.

When dump trucks get angry (really, really angry), head for the hills!

Little Dump Truck is “the happiest member of the construction crew.” Assisting everyone from Excavator to Bulldozer, she hauls her load merrily. But sometimes things just don’t go her way. In rapid succession, dirt is blown in her face, a tire is punctured, and a flock of birds mistake her for a lavatory. Now she’s Little Grump Truck, and the exceedingly poor advice from her co-workers (“Ignore it. You’ll be fine”; “Shake it off!”) pushes her too far. After Little Grump Truck unloads (figuratively and literally) on her colleagues, everyone else has the “grumpies” too. It isn’t until she closes her eyes and focuses that Little Dump Truck is able to clear her mind and lighten her mood. Apologies are in order, and soon everything is humming (for the time being, anyway). Though the narrative doesn’t drill the message home, both child and adult readers alike will hopefully pick up on the fact that pithy aphorisms are maddeningly unhelpful when one is in a bad mood. Gray skies accompany the dump truck’s mood, which is depicted as an ever morphing agglomeration of hard, black scribbles. The accompanying art serves its purpose, investing its trucks with personality via time-honored headlight, windshield-wiper, and grille facial features. Little Dump Truck has a purple cab and green bed and a single lash on each headlight eye. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Should appeal to all the little grump trucks hauling their feelings about. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30081-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

HENRY IN A JAM

From the Everything Goes series

Traffic jams, it turns out, can be good fun, and children might even learn a word or two.

A genial elementary reader that taps into the electricity generated by Brian Biggs’ Everything Goes: On Land (2011).

This book has been designed to share with very beginning readers, as Bourne’s text amply illustrates in its simple repetitions: “ ‘Woof, woof, woof.’…The dog wags his tail. The dog does not want to stop. The dog wants to see.” Then there is the truck honking—“Honk, honk, honk!”—at the tree that has fallen across the road, causing the traffic jam that is the story’s pivot. Though the text can feel overly purpose-driven, and the words more to be absorbed than befriended, such is not the case with Abbott’s artwork—“in the style of Brian Biggs,”according to the title page—which is amiability itself. The line work is crayon bold, and the color so saturated it is thick as fudge. But there is something else lurking in the illustrations, something Claymation-tangible, which may arouse the urge to bring them home and introduce them to mother. If one of the objects of an early-early reader is to keep the reader focused, this artwork immeasurably helps.

Traffic jams, it turns out, can be good fun, and children might even learn a word or two. (Early reader. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195819-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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