written and illustrated by Barbara Samuels
(Farrar Straus Giroux) 2010
Source: Mebane Public Library
Since he was a toddler, Leo has loved trucks. He drives convoys on his mother's legs while she tries to read the newspaper. An attachment to a purple truck pours ketchup and maple syrup (though not at the same time). After reading his truck book for the umpteenth time, Mama decides it's time for a walk. As they walk through the neighborhood, Mama notices flowers and balloons while Leo only has an eye for anything truck related. They stop at a pet store located next to a toy store with a fire truck in the window. When Mama has a surprise for Leo the next day, he is certain that the fire truck is in the bag. What he finds is a big orange cat. Leo is mystified as to what he is going to do with a cat in his trucker world. As it happens, the cat provides the biggest surprise of all.
Young children can obsess about trucks, cars, princesses, dinosaurs, superheroes, etc. My oldest daughter went through an alligator/crocodile phase where we had several stuffed crocs and books about them. Leo is no different, which makes The Trucker a good book for making connections. I also like how it is a book about a kid using his imagination. This should be encouraged in young children whenever possible. Another engaging aspect of this book are the details in the illustrations. There are hidden touches that make you smile.
The Trucker is a pleasant read aloud that will generate plenty of conversations among students about toys and pets.
Other reviews of The Trucker:
Warren County Public Library Kid's Book Blog