cover image With Any Luck I’ll Drive a Truck

With Any Luck I’ll Drive a Truck

David Friend, illus. by Michael Rex. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16956-4

Friend, an editor at Vanity Fair, debuts with a cheeky poem of a picture book, in which a boy proudly describes his prowess as he helms several trucks, trailers, and construction vehicles. Humorously colloquial rhymes are well-matched to the mischief on display as the boy—accompanied by a turtle, penguin, and pig—engages in construction and demolition, occasionally saving the day: “I also worked a fireman’s truck—/ and, sure enough, a cat got stuck!/ The kids were sad and I was sadder.../ until I saved her with a ladder.” Rex’s (Goodnight Goon) digitally colored ink cartoons are full of vehicular action and mechanical details, from the dirt-caked treads of a wrecking ball to the gleam of an 18-wheeler’s mesh grille, cast by the truck’s headlights. As the boy ages, his skills grow (“At 6, if you would like to know,/ I spent the winter plowing snow”), and while the story ends in familiar territory (the boy’s bedroom is involved), readers caught up in the fun may still be caught by surprise. Ages 3–5. Illustrator’s agent: Ronnie Ann Herman, Herman Agency. (June)