I have two kids under two. A true Cannonballer, I read to them all the time. One of my favorite books to read out loud to them is Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck. My kids like the art and the county-song-rhythm of the prose (“Horn went ‘Beep!’ Engine purred. Friendliest sounds you ever heard.”) I do, too, and I hope my little ones absorb the book’s message of selflessness and kindness. I hope I learn that lesson, too!
The book is about an old, flare-side farm truck that rolls through the countryside. The truck is friendly with all the wildlife and farm animals it encounters, and goes out of its way to take care of them. They appreciate it. (“Little Blue Truck came down the road…Toad said ‘Croak’ and winked an eye when Little Blue Truck went rolling by.”) Also barreling through the country is a big yellow dump truck (“Coming through! I’ve big important things to do! I haven’t got time to pass the day with every duck along the way!”) Even though the dump truck is loud and rude, Little Blue and the animals still find a way to help the dump truck out when it gets stuck in the mud. That kindness doesn’t go unnoticed. (“Now I see a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends!”)
McElmurry’s art is gorgeous. The Little Blue Truck and all the wildlife it encounters are full of life. You can feel the wind on your face and hear the trees and high grass rustling. It feels like West Texas to me. Kids often like to rereard books over and over. In this case, that’s not a bad thing!