Why are little boys are so fascinated by trucks? Is it their size, their variety, their bright colors? Whatever the case, trucks are a good topic for a picture book. I recently reviewed several new truck-focused picture books for my three-year-old truck-loving grandson and discovered, as with all books, that it comes down to one’s personal preference.
Truck by Donald Crews, is a Caldecott Honor Award winner that has no text. The book takes readers on a brightly colored visual journey that a truck takes from a loading dock to delivery of its shipment. It didn’t appeal to me. I like a story with my pictures.
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
Alice Shertle, Author, Jill McElmurry, Illustrator
A cross between City Mouse and Country Mouse and The Little Engine That Could, this sweet rhyming story shows how the little blue truck makes his way through the densely packed city, providing a way for the mayor to help get stalled traffic moving again.
Everything Goes on Land Bryan Biggs Author/Illustrator
Each page is teeming with a busy city scene, vibrantly illustrated, with “comments” from different vehicles, but there is no cohesive story. I found this book, which reminds me of Richard Scarry books, totally overwhelming.
Machines Go to Work in the City William Low Author/Illustrator
This is an engaging book, illustrated in bright colors, that exposes readers to different kinds of trucks and machines that work in the city. An interactive feature asks a question that is answered by lifting a flap. For example, what happens to the garbage after it gets picked up? The flap reveals the garbage going from the truck into the dump.
I’m a Truck Driver by Jonathan London, illustrated by David Parkins
This is my favorite truck book. In rhyme, each page imagines the child (along with his pet cat) in the driver’s seat of a particular truck. He is a power shovel operator, a combine operator, and a tractor trailer driver doing its work. I think my three-year-old truck lover will enjoy imagining himself in these drivers’ seats too.
PS I couldn’t help noticing that of the five truck books I reviewed, four were written and illustrated by men.