The Old Truck

Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. Norton Young Readers, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-324-00519-3
In the Pumphrey brothers’ debut, an old truck’s maturation mirrors a brown-skinned girl’s growth into adulthood. “On a small farm, an old truck worked hard,” the narrative begins as illustrations reveal the family’s corresponding exertion, loading bushel baskets filled with veggies into the truck’s bed. As “the old truck rested,” weeds slowly covering its wheels, then its body, it also serves as a vehicle for the child’s imagination (“The old truck sailed the seas,/ braved the skies,/ and chased the stars”). As the young woman matures, she finishes rebuilding a tractor she began working on with her father, becomes “a new farmer,” and employs the tractor in towing the truck, then restoring it. The narrative comes full circle as the old truck, now repainted and running, works hard once again alongside the farmer and her own daughter. The illustrations, created from more than 250 stamps, resonate in spare compositions and mellow earth tones. A celebration of diligence and grit, the quiet text conjures a cyclical Giving Tree–reminiscent relationship, but with a healthier, deeply loving dynamic. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/21/2019
Release date: 01/07/2020
Genre: Children's
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