Book: Little Blue Truck's Christmas
Author: Alice Schertle
Illustrator: Jill McElmurry
Age Range: 2-5 (board book with
Even though the ending is a bit overtly message-y for my taste, I love the bouncy rhythms of Alice Schertle's Little Blue Truck, and am happy to read it aloud to my daughter at any time. In fact, whenever anyone or anything in our household is stuck we always say: "Help! Help! cried the Little Blue Truck. Beep! Beep! Beep! I'm stuck! I'm stuck!". Thus I was unable to resist requesting a copy of The Little Blue Truck's Christmas when the opportunity came around. And I'm glad I did. The Little Blue Truck's Christmas is going to be a welcome addition to my family's holiday read-alouds.
In The Little Blue Truck's Christmas, Blue stops by his friend Toad's Christmas tree lot, and picks up five trees (all numbered, to add to the book's learning potential for preschoolers). He drops the trees off, one by one, at the homes of his friends, saving the very last one for his own home (where Toad is waiting). On that last page, the lights of the tree twinkle in red, green, yellow and blue, a fun surprise for the young reader.
As a read-aloud, The Little Blue Truck's Christmas is not quite as fun as the original, but it's still upbeat and rhythmic, like this:
"Beep! Beep! Beep!
Little Blue Truck
is full of cheer.
"ONE tree, TWO trees,
THREE trees, FOUR.
Just enough room
for one tree more!"
""Maaa!" says the goat.
"This short one, please!"
Now there is ONE
green Christmas tree."
In the second and third examples, the numbers are colored in red and green, shown bigger than the surrounding text. The trees have numbered tags to reinforce the counting practice. They are added to the truck in numeric order, and then removed in countdown order.
McElmurry's illustrations are warm and cheerful. The homes of all of the animals are different from one another, but all are decorated for Christmas, with colored lights and other forms of Christmas cheer. the goat's home bears a more than passing resemblance to a manger, in a nice, subtle touch. The ground is snowy and the sky starry throughout. And Blue, with his round headlight eyes and a wreath gracing his front grill, is as friendly and loyal as ever.
Young fans of The Little Blue Truck, those who appreciate Christmas, anyway, will love The Little Blue Truck's Christmas. Parents will find it pleasant to read aloud, and ever-so-slightly educational, with a warm, holiday feel. This one is definitely worth adding to the holiday reading list for preschoolers.
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (@HMHBooks)
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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