Kevin Lewis's picture books are known for their boisterous boy appeal and irresistible sounds, which make them perfect for reading aloud. Kevin is the author of Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo and My Truck Is Stuck! He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Same as above.
How many engines does it take to get a pothole-ambushed dump truck unstuck? Readers travel through a stretch of desert road with canines at the wheel before arriving at a shaggy dog of an answer. The pooch driver flags down four vehicles in succession (all driven by various breeds) in hopes of getting a hand (or paw) to "make my stuck truck go." But even with the five vehicles tied together and gunning in unison, the result is a bust: "Lug and lurch. Tug and tow./ 5 engines roar./ The truck won't go." Kirk's illustrations create a subplot: the same culprits (gophers) who dig the hole in which the truck gets stuck also make off with its load (a truckbed full of bones), bit by bit, spread by spread. When Mr. Mechanic shows up with his tow truck, everyone soon heads on their way-though the newly freed truck carries a dramatically lighter load. The formulaic narrative and stark landscape may not have as much of the magical pull as the team's first joint effort, Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo, but this year's model still offers plenty. Lewis gets impressive aural mileage from his simple rhymes, while Kirk soups up his streamlined oil paintings with comic nuance. The dog characterizations are a stitch, and youngsters will enjoy the subtle jokes (a moving van's motto is "Ruff & Reddy," with a red bulldog mascot) along the way. A load of fun. Ages 2-5. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
PreS-K-In this rhyming tale, two dogs in baseball caps and overalls haul a load of bones in their dump truck. They haven't gone very far before their wheel hits an enormous pothole. "Rotten luck. Can't go!/My truck is stuck," laments the driver. The two canines run after passersby, yelling: "Help!/Please help!/Does anyone know/how to make/my stuck truck go?" Some counting practice slips in as a series of progressively larger vehicles all try to "heft and haul," "tug and tow," "drag and draw" the truck out of the hole, but to no avail. Then, Mr. Mechanic shows up in his tow truck. The bright, full-page artwork, done with oil paint over sand and modeling paste on masonite, is full of humorous detail. The visuals will draw children in to the story, as they realize that unbeknownst to the drivers, a group of prairie dogs has made off with their load. This entertaining choice will please young truck lovers, and is sure to produce lots of laughs at storyhour.-Melinda Piehler, North Tonawanda Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.