Hooray for Trucks!
Hooray for Trucks!
This colourful picture book about construction vehicles celebrates the idea that even hardworking dump trucks and graders don’t want to stop the fun to have a bath. The first page has grimy machines working together on a site; some are drilling into the earth, others are hauling soil, but they all have happy expressions as they work together with a city far in the distance. When a worker arrives with cleaning tools in hand to announce that it is time for a cleaning, their truck faces express dismay. They are reluctant to stop the messy work they enjoy so much until it is explained to them that:
Getting clean might seem a bore. But no, it’s an IMPORTANT chore! Wash away that dirt. Drive away that rust. To keep you rolling, it’s A MUST.
Instantly, the trucks are on board with the cleaning project. They participate willingly, smiling and sharing in the work of getting clean. Cranes pour buckets of water over the smaller vehicles, and front-end loaders carry frothy, pastel bubbles. Soon the whole fleet is sparkling. When the cleaning is finished, some of the trucks are wearing accessories like hats, flower garlands, and bows on the top of the cabs thereby further adding to the cheerful personification of the vehicles. On the final pages, readers see that their cleaning efforts weren’t only for maintenance as they are welcomed by a diverse construction truck-loving crowd that waits with balloons, a lemonade stand, and smiles galore. It’s a truck parade!
The story of the trucks is told in pleasurable rhymes with repeating words. The trucks ‘toot’ and ‘honk’, and the action of washing them involves ‘buffing’ and ‘scrubbing’, with ‘sloshing’ of water and ‘slathering’ of soap. It’s a book which a family would return to often, and any library read-aloud would find so much to enjoy especially as it is accompanied by cheerful construction vehicles in vivid colour. The trucks are drawn in great variety – entirely depending on their personality and the emotion in the story. The single worker responsible for cleaning all of these vehicles isn’t entirely alone; they are accompanied by two cats and a group of birds. The animals and birds display emotion in their facial expressions and their posture. When they are trying to encourage the trucks to get in line for washing, it would be impossible to misread their exhaustion and frustration. Some illustrations cover two pages with a background of the brown and grey of the construction site, and others feature smaller details of the individual trucks which allow the reader’s eye to travel throughout the book. Pages are filled with special elements like the blue dump truck looking in a mirror after it is freshly washed or a tiny brown cat that has been drenched with water during the sloshing.
Hooray for Trucks! will welcomed by fans of construction vehicles and construction sites, but the displays of the pleasure of bath time and being slathered with soap and bubbles will make this bedtime required reading.
Penny McGill is a library assistant in the Collections department of the Waterloo Public Library in Waterloo, Ontario.