cover image Jet Black Pickup Truck

Jet Black Pickup Truck

Patricia Lakin. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05885-5

White seagulls circle overhead as Grammy, accompanied by her little granddaughter, drives an old pickup truck to the dump to unload their trash. To the child, the dump is an enchanted place where she amuses herself climbing on the mounds of rubbish, picking up a can here and a hat there. Her absorption with these newfound ``toys'' transforms the scene into a lavish playground as the child's imagination takes wing. Lakin tells this unusual tale in clever, terse couplets (``Tired old rusty wheel. / Wonder how this bike must feel?''). Hoffman's sparkling watercolor-and-pencil drawings, rendered in an almost surreal palette, have a modernist, fairy-tale quality--though her art depicts more romantic surroundings than the fetid, overloaded landfills one is likely to find. In an age where objects are discarded rather than fixed and passed on, the implications of this ingratiating story are well worth considering, even if the abandon with which the pair handles and tries things on is a bit disconcerting. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)