cover image Puppy Truck

Puppy Truck

Brian Pinkney. Atheneum, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2687-0

When Carter receives a red and yellow toy truck instead of the puppy he wants, he doesn’t throw a fit. Instead, “he pet it and put a leash around it,” writes Pinkey (Hip-Hop Lollipop), and magically, the truck responds just like a rambunctious pup, with bright eyes and a shiny black nose. “Vroom beep bark!” says the truck, and the two are off, running toward a wonderful day in the park, where they make a friend and romp in the sandbox; back at home, they enjoy a soapy bath in a big purple tub and a bedtime cuddle. Pinkney’s swooping, ribbonlike ink lines and splashes of bright color pop off the cream-colored pages. Detailing is minimal and evocative, with a few swift black lines conveying a gentle hill, and cloudlike green scribbles evoking the park’s foliage. Brown-skinned Carter has a lean dancer’s body, and he moves around the page with an energized grace and a look of pure contentment. There’s no huge dramatic arc or epiphany here, and no grown-up supervision or mediation—just a joyful celebration of imagination at play. Ages 5–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. [em](June) [/em]