Little Blue Truck (Little Blue Truck)

by Alice Schertle (Author) Jill McElmurry (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick-up--that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they're willing to whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road.

Filled with truck sounds and animal noises, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

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 3-7. (May)

Copyright 2008 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1--"Beep, beep," Little Blue Truck merrily bounces down a country road greeting all the animals along the way. All is well until, "honk," along comes Dump, a mighty yellow truck with "important work to do." He has no time "to greet every duck along the way" until he gets stuck in the muck and the mire. Little Blue hears his cries and tries to help, but gets stuck. All the animals come to help their friend Blue. They have no luck until one last push from adorable toad--with his Popeye-like muscles and a gleaming smile--does the trick. The value of friends and pitching in is beautifully shown through Schertle's simple but sweet rhyming text (Harcourt, 2008) and Jill McElmurry's warm folk art-like illustrations. Tom Stechschulte's pleasing narration features crisp enunciation and perfect pacing. The various animal sounds differ effectively with just enough charming silliness. Page-turn signals are optional. Children in preschool through first grade will cheer for the animals (toad will be a favorite), Little Blue, and even Dump once he sees the value of "a helping hand from a few good friends."--Jane Newschwander, Fluvanna County Public Schools, VA

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Alice Schertle

Alice Schertle is a poet and the author of the best-selling Little Blue Truck books and many other books for young readers. She lives in Plainfield, Massachusetts.

Jill McElmurry is the illustrator of the best-selling Little Blue Truck books, as well as many acclaimed picture books, some of which she also wrote. She divides her time between New Mexico and Minnesota.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Clarion Books
Publication date
May 20, 2008
Little Blue Truck
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002090 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Farm Animals
JUV039220 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Values & Virtues
JUV041030 - Juvenile Fiction | Transportation | Cars & Trucks
JUV009110 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Sounds
Library of Congress categories
Stories in rhyme
Ladybug Picture Book Award
Nominee 2009 - 2009

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