All the animals happily greet Little Blue Truck as it amiably trundles over hill and dale: "Toad said, 'Croak!'/ and winked an eye/ when Little Blue Truck/ went rolling by." No wonder, then, that the obnoxious Dump Truck gets a cold shoulder when it goes too fast ("I haven't got time to pass the day/ with every duck along the way!") and gets stuck in the rural muck. But when the selfless Little Blue Truck gets mired while trying to help, all the animals rally 'round and teach Dump Truck about neighborliness (the particularly buff Toad implicitly offers a subsidiary lesson on the value of working out). Schertle's (All You Need for a Beach) rhyming stanzas are succinct, and she gives readers plenty of opportunities to chime in with animal and vehicle noises; colored, standout fonts highlight these sounds for extra effect. McElmurry's (Mad About Plaid) gouaches recall the heyday of Golden Books in their combination of vividness, naïveté and sweetness, and her rich palette achieves verisimilitude that is no less satisfying for being nostalgic. Ages 37. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Get the poetic motor humming with Little Blue Truck. With a cheery "beep," a pint-sized pick-up greets animal buddies along a country road, who "croak," "baa," "moo," and "oink" in return. Only an obnoxious dump truck, with a loud "honk," disrupts the peaceful journey. But when the dump truck's "big important wheels" get stuck in the mud, the small truck and the country critters rescue and teach it a valuable lesson: "a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends!" The playful language by Alice Schertle and vibrant gouache paintings by Jill McElmurry will enliven any preschooler's journey with books, both literal and metaphorical. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Little Blue Truck greets all of the farmyard animals with a friendly "Beep!" as he rolls along enjoying the fine autumn morning. The animals respond with croaks, baas, moos, oinks, clucks, and neighs. All is peaceful until it starts to rain and a dump truck comes rushing past issuing a warning "Honk!" The arrogant truck rounds a curve too quickly, slides off the road, and gets stuck. Of course, Little Blue Truck tries to come to the rescue, but he is not strong enough to move the big truck by himself. Eventually all of the animals respond and the muscular green toad adds just enough oomph to free the dump truck. The large truck gratefully acknowledges the value of helpful friends. The animals jump into the Little Blue Truck as he continues his journey. The rhyming text features a variety of font sizes and colors to distinguish the noises made by the various animals. Somewhat reminiscent of The Little Engine That Could, the trucks are personified, moving, and speaking on their own. No drivers or humans are present. Colorful illustrations presenting the amiable animals and the distinctive trucks cover the two-page spreads. A fun read aloud with an obvious message. Now available in a board book format. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS- Folksy rhyming stanzas introduce readers to Blue, the eponymous pickup truck, and the barnyard critters he greets as he navigates the country roads near his farmhouse. The first half of the book is an enchanting, toddler-entrancing symphony of animal noises and beeps. The cheerful text mimics the bouncing of the truck, and the warm folk-art illustrations call to mind the paintings of Grandma Moses. Then it begins to rain, and a mean, self-important dump truck enters the story. When the Dump gets mired in the mud and honks for help, he gets no response: "nobody heard/(or nobody cared)." Then Blue drives into the puddle to assist, but also gets stuck. When Blue cries for help, the animals rush to the rescue. From this, the dump truck learns that "a lot depends/on a helping hand/from a few good friends." While the message might be a little heavy-handed, this is still a fun, rollicking story that should find a place in most collections.-Rachael Vilmar, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, MD
Plucky animals rescue stuck truck. As the bright blue truck with headlights like eyes rattles down the country road, all the animals greet it. A big yellow dump truck comes zooming by; after passing Blue, Dump gets stuck in a patch of mud. Blue tries to help, but he gets stuck as well. Lickety split, the cow, the horse, the sheep, the chicken-all the farm animals-pitch in to free the two vehicles. They can't quite budge the trucks until the big green toad (pictured knee-deep in mud in a muscleman pose) joins the team. Out pop the trucks. Dump learns a valuable lesson-"a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends"-and Blue gives the animals a lift back to the farm. Schertle's rhythmic text-accented on the page by judiciously applied colored inks-fairly chants itself. McElmurry's vibrant illustrations, in gouache on watercolor paper, recall Cooney and Burton in palette, line and design. This crisp rendition of a familiar scenario is sure to become a storytime favorite. (Picture book. 3-6)
From the Publisher
"Schertle's (All You Need for a Beach) rhyming stanzas are succinct, and she gives readers plenty of opportunities to chime in with animal and vehicle noises; colored, standout fonts highlight these sounds for extra effect. McElmurry's (Mad About Plaid) gouaches recall the heyday of Golden Books in their combination of vividness, naïveté and sweetness, and her rich palette achieves verisimilitude that is no less satisfying for being nostalgic." Publishers Weekly, starred review (4/28/08)