cover image Little Blue Truck

Little Blue Truck

Alice Schertle, , illus. by Jill McElmurry. . Harcourt, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205661-2

All the animals happily greet Little Blue Truck as it amiably trundles over hill and dale: “Toad said, 'Croak!'/ and winked an eye/ when Little Blue Truck/ went rolling by.” No wonder, then, that the obnoxious Dump Truck gets a cold shoulder when it goes too fast (“I haven't got time to pass the day/ with every duck along the way!”) and gets stuck in the rural muck. But when the selfless Little Blue Truck gets mired while trying to help, all the animals rally 'round and teach Dump Truck about neighborliness (the particularly buff Toad implicitly offers a subsidiary lesson on the value of working out). Schertle's (All You Need for a Beach ) rhyming stanzas are succinct, and she gives readers plenty of opportunities to chime in with animal and vehicle noises; colored, standout fonts highlight these sounds for extra effect. McElmurry's (Mad About Plaid ) gouaches recall the heyday of Golden Books in their combination of vividness, naïveté and sweetness, and her rich palette achieves verisimilitude that is no less satisfying for being nostalgic. Ages 3–7. (May)