The Trucker

Barbara Samuels, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-37804-2
To say that young Leo is a truck enthusiast is an understatement: "He said he could name a BILLION trucks," writes Samuels (the Dolores books). "I bet you can," says his preoccupied mother, trying to find refuge in the toy truck–strewn living room. So when Mama gives Leo a cat rather than the fire truck he's yearning for, he's crushed—until the emerald-eyed Lola reveals that she can hold her own: "When a road needed paving... Lola joined the crew. And when a building was ready for the wrecker's ball... Lola did the job with a swipe of her paw." Samuels spends too much time setting up Leo's obsession; readers will get it within the first few vignettes. But once Lola's hefty marmalade presence is established, Leo's imagination kicks into high gear and the crisply inked artwork—a mix of spot art, domestic scenes, and streetscapes—takes on renewed energy. After Lola saves a stuffed bunny from a (cardboard box) building fire, Leo makes her his deputy. Big rig–obsessed fanatics should relate to Leo's joy in finding a like-minded companion. Ages 3–6. (July)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
Genre: Children's
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