A young girl turns her imagination into action in this beautifully crafted and intricately designed debut picture book.
When is an old truck something more? On a small, bustling farm, a resilient and steadfast pickup works tirelessly alongside the family that lives there, and becomes a part of the dreams and ambitions of the family’s young daughter.
After long days and years of hard work leave the old truck rusting in the weeds, it’s time for the girl to roll up her sleeves. Soon she is running her own busy farm, and in the midst of all the repairing and restoring, it may be time to bring her faithful childhood companion back to life.
With an eye-catching retro design and cleverly nuanced illustrations, The Old Truck celebrates the rewards of determination and the value of imagination.---from the publisher
48 pages 978-1324005193 Ages 4-9
Keywords: farm, truck, change, determination, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old
“And I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you”
-- Cyndi Lauper (1986)
There are lots of books for children about a girl and her horse, or a girl and her dog, or a girl and her best human friend. But there are not a lot of kids books about a girl and her pickup truck.
This unique, exquisite picture book about tradition and renewal is a keeper.
The blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a fascinating interview with the Pumphrey brothers in which they detail their creation of THE OLD TRUCK. http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=4975 Don’t miss it! It includes photographs of the process in which they crafted hundreds of stamps which were used to create the illustrations.
“The old truck grew weary and tired,
So the old truck rested.
The old truck sailed the seas,
braved the skies,
and chased the stars.
But the old truck grew older.
It’s in the little girl’s dreams where the pickup truck is accomplishing the most amazing feats. The story, which takes place on a small family farm, begins when the main character is but knee-high to a grasshopper. Soon, she is growing big enough to be doing a kid’s share of work around the farm. We watch her transition from repairing her bicycle to doing basic maintenance on the tractor and, we suddenly realize, she has matured into a young woman.
This, as the old pickup, now permanently parked alongside the barn, has gotten deeper and further lost in the weeds...and the snow.
“On a small farm, a new farmer worked hard.”
Then the family farm enters a new chapter. That now-grown-up girl has become the farmer. No parents in sight. We see her hook up the tractor to her old friend, and then pull it out of the weeds. She then set outs to give her old pickup a new life.
My favorite spread involves the main character starting the engine after successfully rebirthing the truck, which causes all of the chickens in the farmyard to go into hysterics. The tale ends with the main character carrying baskets of just-picked produce to the reborn truck, where her own smiling daughter is sitting on the tailgate, waiting.
I make a point of employing a female-owned and operated repair shop to maintain my Prius, so I’m excited to have this picture book showing a woman rebuilding a truck engine. And it’s always great to see a book depicting renewal and reuse rather than discarding and purchasing new. Every time something is reused, it means that the effect on the environment of mining and processing raw materials to manufacture a new one of them is avoided. And that’s a really big deal.
THE OLD TRUCK is an enlightened, memorable, and incredibly sweet story.
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA
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