Go, Little Green Truck!
written by Roni Schotter; illustrated by Julia Kuo
2016 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Little Green was ready! Ready for adventure. He was set. Go!
Little Green is a plucky pickup. He loves his work and is proud of the help that he provides his farming family. Corn, hay bales, and pot-bellied pigs all take a ride in his bed. Life is great until a rival appears on the scene. Farmer Gray acquires a bigger blue truck that can carry more pigs and even cows. Big Blue takes over all of the chores Little Green loved doing. Instead of hauling and traveling around town, Little Green is left to rust in the meadow. After a lonely winter, hope arrives in the form of a cat. Farmer Gray's cat crawls up in Little Green's cargo bed to catch some rays in the spring sunshine. Noticing the cat's absence, Farmer Gray's daughter Fern finds her in the cargo bed and decides to hang out. One by one, members of the Gray family follow suit. Surrounded by her mom and dad (and many farm animals), Fern announces that Little Green is the perfect size vehicle to take to the new farmer's market. The family pitches in and gives Little Green an auto makeover including a new engine that runs on corn and soy oil. With Fern's fresh paintings on his sides, Little Green happily transports the Gray family and crates of vegetables to the farmer's market and shows that going green is a great idea.
Go, Little Green Truck! is a vibrant book that can be used several ways in a K-2 classroom. When discussing how a fiction book works, we talk about how most fiction books have a problem. Tying in prediction, we also talk about the possible solutions to the problem. This book has a classic problem of a character not feeling appreciated. This problem can also be paired with the need to discuss classroom culture and making sure everyone feels a part of it. Like the Gray family finding a way to appreciate Little Green, we need to make sure all members of our class feel like a part of our community. Go, Little Green Truck! is also a welcome addition to a unit on taking care of the environment and finding ways to recycle. Many kindergarten classes teach a unit on farm life so this book fits nicely there too.
Arrayed in bright colors and adorned in a winning story about an underdog pickup truck, students will gladly take a ride with Go, Little Green Truck!