cover image Big Rig

Big Rig

Jamie A. Swenson, illus. by Ned Young. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6330-5

A big rig named Frankie takes readers on a road trip, giving them a healthy dose of trucker vocabulary (a “truck-ionary” with definitions is included). “We’ve got cargo ready to roll,” Frankie explains. “It could be anything. You name it, we haul it.” Frankie’s rough-and-tumble narration (“Do I have a horn? Ha! What do you think?”) owes a big debt to the vehicles in Kate McMullan’s I Stink! and its sequels. Swenson (Boom! Boom! Boom!) also includes loud onomatopoeia, from the “urrrrnnnt– urrrrnnnt!” of Frankie’s horn to the “eeeerrrrrrrrrr... daa-daa-daa-da-da” of his Jake Brake, which should make for noisy readalouds. Young’s work also has echoes of preexisting vehicular lore—the “smiling” bumpers and googly-eyed windshields of Frankie and the other trucks, buses, and cars will feel familiar to fans of the Cars and Trucktown franchises. Still, the story is consistently entertaining: from a rainstorm to a flat tire, there’s no shortage of event, and Young (the Zoomer books) fills his bright, eye-catching scenes with myriad details to explore. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (Feb.)