Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Alphabet Trucks

Alphabet Trucks
written by Samantha R. Vamos; illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke
2013 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Check out Nonfiction Monday at Sally's Bookshelf

Day and night,
just watch and see.
Trucks work hard
from A to Z.

Samantha R. Vamos wrote one of my favorite picture books, The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred, and Ryan O'Rourke illustrated another excellent book, Eight Days Gone. Combine these two talented people with a book about trucks? I'm in. Alphabet Trucks will be a favorite read aloud at home and in school. Why? First, this book has great rhythm and young readers eat this up. Tongues will roll and heads will bob as you read these rhymes. Hands will shoot up as you ask "Which words rhyme?". Your students are engaged and you are teaching phonemic awareness. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! (If you choose not to eat meat, substitute broccoli and it works just as well.) The second reason why this book is rocking are the illustrations. Look below:

How clever are the B's? Look at the dog carrying an "a" in its mouth. I wonder how long it took Ryan O'Rourke to think of this. Probably not long because his work is very smart. As a teacher, I'm applauding the use of the letters as a way to further teach beginning readers. I think students would love to emulate this in their drawings. Finally, can you go wrong with trucks? Not when it comes to young students. My classroom faces the front of our school. If a fire truck parks in front, I can't compete. Kids love trucks, so the subject matter for this alphabet book is a home run. My favorite truck? Probably the knuckle-boom truck that has a rear crane that folds up. Did you know there are x-ray trucks? Look that up. It's actually a little scary. 

Alphabet Trucks is a superb addition to the alphabet book genre. There were several trucks that were new to me (see x-ray truck) which was one of the fun parts of reading this book. Young readers will be delighted to read this over and over again. Now if I could just find the 1985 Ford Ranger pickup truck that I sold five years ago. I miss that truck.


  1. My condolences for your 1985 Ford Ranger pickup truck, Jeff. If you have a photo of it, you should show your students before you read them this book. :-)

    Thanks for the recommendation--I've just ordered it for our library!

  2. Hi Jeff! What a fun book! And I can just imagine your class' excitement about a fire truck parked in front of the school. One of my favorite photos of my son as a little guy is of him and his buddies on a fire truck when the firemen let them board at his birthday party at a park.

    Drive on over to True Tales & A Cherry On Top... I'm featuring yet another baseball picture book biography... about Willie Mays! And I credit you for leading me to it.

  3. Jeff,

    Looks like a perfect book for young kids.

    We know about the love of trucks around here. Ours is a 1966 Ford F-250 Camper Special. I'm going to look up x-ray trucks right now.

    I had to laugh about your comment at my blog. You have scooped me more than once :-)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.