Monkey Truck

Overview

Monkey Truck is a truck with a mission. He’s on the lookout for all sorts of jungle bungles — there are chameleons to rescue before they are squashed, snakes to untangle, and hippos to pull free. And look out for that TSUNAMI! This playful picture book, with its chant-along language and plucky pictures, is perfect for little ones who like trucks and animals (probably the two most popular toddler topics). The paper-over-board format complete with heavy interior stock makes it an excellent choice for...

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Overview

Monkey Truck is a truck with a mission. He’s on the lookout for all sorts of jungle bungles — there are chameleons to rescue before they are squashed, snakes to untangle, and hippos to pull free. And look out for that TSUNAMI! This playful picture book, with its chant-along language and plucky pictures, is perfect for little ones who like trucks and animals (probably the two most popular toddler topics). The paper-over-board format complete with heavy interior stock makes it an excellent choice for preschoolers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An absurd but kid-pleasing amalgam of a primate and a flatbed truck (complete with four wheels and ears-as-side-mirrors) is the troubleshooting hero of Slack's (Knuckleheads) boisterous first solo effort. Garish digital art drives the action, as Monkey Truck rolls through a verdant jungle, rescuing animals in distress. He whisks away a chameleon that is about to be trampled by an elephant, soars through the air to feed a worm to a baby bird, uses his arms to straddle a ravine to help turtles cross, and transports the entire menagerie to high ground to escape an approaching tsunami (in a book played for laughs, it's an uneasy inclusion only a few years after the massively deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean). Scenes of an array of creatures (hippos, warthogs, and more) piled on top of Monkey Truck are among the book's silliest. Slack's choppy, rhyming text is propelled by sound effects and exclamations that enhance the book's read-aloud appeal ("Racing up a hill with a full payload,/ grind those gears!/ Go! Monkey Truck, Go!"). A slight yet spirited romp. Ages 2–4. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“My three-year-old loves Michael Slack's new picture book Monkey Truck…The artwork is great, colorful and elaborated with lots of details that are fun to talk about during storytime. All told, it's a darned fun storytime treat.” —Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.com

“The bright, blocky and, above all, goofy digitally painted illustrations will grab attention, and Monkey Truck’s hooting mug (and tooting bottom) will keep the giggles flowing. Hope for more from this outrageous imagination.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Slack's choppy, rhyming text is propelled by sound effects and exclamations that enhance the book's read-aloud appeal…A slight yet spirited romp.” —Publishers Weekly

"Slack’s digitally rendered artwork is abundant with enjoyable texture and detail, however, and the jungle citizens are remarkably expressive.” —BCCB

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
He's a monkey with a truck body. Monkey Truck comes to the rescue whenever there is trouble in the jungle. His biggest job is saving the hippos who are stuck in rising flood waters. It takes a big effort, with wheels spinning, to get them out. Picking up other creatures as he goes, Monkey Truck uses many noisy exclamations in the terse, occasionally rhyming text, as he saves the day. He's a "four-wheeled banana-eating monkey machine..." that the jungle calls King. This rather silly cartoon fantasy is visualized through Photoshop digitalization in double-page scenes of a verdant if make-believe jungle, with various flowers, greenish plants, and occasional creatures. The action gets frenetic as rescue is achieved; the excitement multiplies as the trio of hysterical hippos is joined by a variety of other animals on the truck. The text adds visually to the drama with words printed in a range of sizes and colors. The end pages are filled with green plants. The book has rounded edges and heavyweight paper for younger readers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This imaginative story follows the adventures of a monkey-shaped truck as it travels through the jungle helping animals. The four-wheeled vehicle has flexible arms and a cab in the shape of a monkey head. Facial expressions change depending upon the situation. The truck rescues a chameleon about to be stomped upon by an elephant, comes to the assistance of hippos stuck in mud, and transforms itself into a bridge for a turtle crossing. The wildly creative, fast-paced tale has the energy of a children's cartoon. Comical illustrations add to the entertainment value. Digitally painted and collaged in Photoshop, the artwork is rich in color, use of space, and shape. Action-packed images mirror the story line. Teachers or parents could use this picture book to introduce the concept of helpfulness. The book would also add variety to a jungle-themed storytime. The unique plot, attractive dust jacket, and lively artwork make this unusual picture book a fun read.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH
Kirkus Reviews

"When there's trouble in the jungle, Monkey Truck knows what to do." This furry, brown truck with an expressive monkey face and extra-long arms saves a chameleon from being squished by a clumsy elephant and a butterfly from a hungry Venus flytrap. He washes dirty warthogs, untangles vipers, gives crocodiles backrubs and even feeds baby birds. "A monkey with a mission—WOW, he sure is fast. / His overdrive engine burns banana gas." When a tsunami threatens, he piles all the animals (including three hippos) in his bed and heads for high ground. "Who's the little fella that the jungle calls king? A four-wheeled Banana-eating monkey machine." The illustrator of My Life as a Chicken, by Ellen A. Kelley (2007), Slack produces a zippy jungle jaunt with enough action and rhythm for any preschooler in his first solo effort. The bright, blocky and, above all, goofy digitally painted illustrations will grab attention, and Monkey Truck's hooting mug (and tooting bottom) will keep the giggles flowing. Hope for more from this outrageous imagination. (Picture book. 2-5)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805088786
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 641,881
  • Age range: 2 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Slack is an artist and graphic designer whose work has been featured in various forms including books, comics, television, and games. He lives in Lafayette, California. www.slackart.com

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