The Grumpy Dump Truck

Overview

This dump truck has a bad attitude.

It's not easy being a dump truck, hauling heavy dirt from one place to the next. All that work has made Bertrand decidedly grouchy. But when he meets Tilly, a cheerful porcupine construction worker, Bertrand’s attitude begins to change. Can this grumpy dump truck learn to be nice?

Brie Spangler’s hilarious new picture book is perfect for little truck lovers!

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Overview

This dump truck has a bad attitude.

It's not easy being a dump truck, hauling heavy dirt from one place to the next. All that work has made Bertrand decidedly grouchy. But when he meets Tilly, a cheerful porcupine construction worker, Bertrand’s attitude begins to change. Can this grumpy dump truck learn to be nice?

Brie Spangler’s hilarious new picture book is perfect for little truck lovers!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dump truck Bertrand wears a permanent scowl. He kvetches (“This dirt is too HEAVY!”) and treats his co-workers with contempt (“He was rude to the backhoe. And he was a real pain to the crane”). But an accidental encounter with a sweet-natured porcupine construction worker named Tilly reveals that Bertrand isn’t misanthropic after all—he’s just got a toolbox of pain-causing items caught in his treads (“Oh, owie-ow! I can’t believe you did that!” Bertrand yells as the porcupine removes a wrench, screwdriver, hammer, traffic cone and other items from his tire). In her sophomore outing, Spangler’s (Peg Leg Peke) bright digital cartooning can border on amateurish, and her wrapup and Bertrand’s total 180 (“I want to do something NICE!”) are so patly sunny that they take away much of the fun of the preceding pages. But she knows how to create a compelling comic antihero (Bertrand’s apostrophe-like eyebrows are particularly expressive, while his whininess should prompt chuckles of recognition), and her narrative never slackens. Ages 3–6. (July)
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Being a dump truck and carrying heavy loads in the hot sun is hard work. Bertrand the dump truck is good at his job but he is the grumpiest dump truck ever. Rather than cooperating with all of the other workers and heavy machines, Bertrand is rude, selfish, and hard to deal with. One day while he is too busy complaining to watch where he is going, he nearly runs over a happy porcupine named Tilly, who fires her quills in self-defense. Though it is an accident, Bertrand refuses to accept Tilly's apology and explanation, preferring instead to grumble. In an effort to help, Tilly climbs up on a cinder block to pluck out the quill. Imagine her surprise when she discovers a wrench, a screwdriver, a level, a saw, a traffic cone, and a hammer in his tire. No wonder Bertrand was so grumpy. With a new outlook on life, Bertrand decides it is time to be helpful and Tilly knows just what he can do: help with the workers' garden. This is a simple tale that conveys a lesson in tolerance. Brie Spangler's cheerful illustrations depict the impact of one grouchy individual on an otherwise happy group of people. Through Tilly, children will see the value of taking action and trying to figure out why someone may be having a bad day. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal

PreS

On a construction site full of anthropomorphized trucks and animals, Bertrand the dump truck sticks out as the one unhappy member of the team. He complains about his heavy load and is rude to the other workers. One day, he nearly runs over a digger named Tilly, who is a porcupine. Frightened, she lets loose some quills, accidentally stabbing one of Bertrand's tires. She apologizes and offers to remove the sharp object. But as she does, she finds several other items-a wrench, saw, traffic cone, etc.-that inexplicably had become imbedded in the truck's tire, and removes them as well. Suddenly, Bertrand is in a better mood and becomes so happy that he helps the construction crew plant a garden. This simple narrative is illustrated with framed pictures and cartoon-bubble dialogue. However, it lacks the charm, humor, and artistic merit of Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan's I'm Dirty! (2006) and I Stink! (2002, both HarperCollins).-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Kirkus Reviews
Bertrand is a mean, crabby, grumpy dump truck who sees nothing good about his job. While all the other workers and trucks try to get along and make the best of things, Bertrand just complains and makes their lives more difficult. One day Bertrand surprises Tilly the porcupine, who loses her quills and accidentally pierces Bertrand's tire. Ever friendly and helpful even in the face of Bertrand's rage, Tilly pulls out the quill . . . and a wrench, screwdriver, level, saw, traffic cone and a hammer. Once unburdened, suddenly Bertrand isn't so grumpy anymore. Spangler's brightly colored digital illustrations are done in a graphic format, with speech bubbles, sound effects and simple pictures that keep the focus on the facial expressions. Construction trucks, equipment and workers are well represented. While slight and with an implausibly pat ending (how'd all that stuff get into his tire in the first place?), this does point out to children that there is always a reason behind a bad mood, although it is rather short on methods of dealing with the grumps-one's own or someone else's. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858390
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brie Spangler is the author-illustrator of Peg Leg Peke. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and Pekingese dog, Lola.
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