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.
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.
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, VACopyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.