A brightly striped cement mixer tries to do the job right on its first day, with mixed results.
Three confident-looking trucks are going about their jobs: “The crane was lifting. The dump truck was dumping. The digger was digging.” When the cement mixer asks “How can I help?” the trucks reply, “Mix up some powdery white cement.” Off goes the protagonist to mix white powder and water in its own jauntily striped red-and-white barrel. The result? An enormous three-layer cake. “You got mixed up,” the trucks say, not unkindly, and repeat their instructions. The next white-powder mix: frosting. When at last the mix of white powder and water yields the expected cement—a building!—all the trucks are “dusty and tired.” The little mixer’s last job for the day? Mixing up (white) soap (powder) for the cleanup. Savage’s pages are clear and uncrowded; his tidy, wide-eyed construction trucks work within view of a city skyline that could belong to Supertruck (2014), with large white-powder factories that are imposing and stolid and clearly state their products. The book’s thematic elements—trucks and food and mastery of a skill—are well-pitched to a very young audience.
A good reminder for adults that giving instructions is an art and that mistakes will be made from time to time (and that white powder not intended for small mixers should be put out of reach). (Picture book. 18 mos.-3)