I have three reasons for my book selection this month. One, April is National Poetry Month. Two, Jon Scieszka is awesome. And three, Truckery Rhymes is one of my 2-year-old son’s favorites books.
We are big fans of Jon Scieszka’s other Trucktown picture books — Smash! Crash! and Melvin Might? — so when we found Truckery Rhymes in the library it was a MUST borrow. And we borrowed it and borrowed it and borrowed it. Thank goodness we finally have a brand-new copy to call our own.
Truckery Rhymes is a compilation of all your favorite nursery rhymes … with a truck-themed twist. The book jacket calls them “rowdy rhymes” and “honk-along songs” in “one big, noisy, high-octane collection.” Each rhyme features a Trucktown friend and is more clever than the last.
Take this Trucktown rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” out for a spin and see what you think.
“Rumble, rumble, Monster Max.
Can you jump those junkyard stacks?
Up above the trash so high,
Like a rocket in the sky.
Rumble, rumble, Monster Max.
Yep, he jumped those junkyard stacks.”
She’s a beaut, right?
The Trucktown series also has a complementary website Truck Town Books, that offers more about the series’ books, creators and characters. There you can also find interactive games and printable activities, including a perfect travel game called Trucktown BINGO. (A quick tip: if you want to use a printable more than once, slip it into a transparent plastic page protector. Let children draw on the page protector with a dry erase marker so you can easily wipe it off and use again.)
The interactive bells and whistles are a big plus. However, my son is as happy as a grease monkey in an auto parts store using his trucks to retell the rhymes and come up with stories of his own. You can almost always find a “Jack Truck” in his pretend play fleet.
An Award-Winning Team
Jon Scieszka, also the author of The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and Stinky Cheese, was named the country’s first national ambassador for young people’s literature by the Library of Congress in 2008. During his 2 year reign he did wonders encouraging reluctant readers, especially boys, to discover the joys of reading. Through his books and guysread.com, he has successfully reached out to many young male readers.
Award-winning and bestselling artists David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon make up the Design Garage team who helped Scieszka create Trucktown. Their collective brilliance makes Trucktown and its characters smash, rumble, zoom and pop right off the page. The illustrations are as dynamic as the stories and rhymes.
Fun for Everyone
Although Scieszka’s focus may be on the young male reader, don’t be fooled. This book isn’t necessarily just for boys. The first time I read it with my son, my 6-year-old daughter found her way to the room to join in with the singing, dancing and chanting. Pretty soon she was holding the book and leading the rhymes like a little trucker goose.
So if your child likes to rev it up to the hum of his or her own little engine, then hightail it to the closest library or bookstore and get yourself a copy of Truckery Rhymes.
In honor of National Poetry Month, tell us: What is your favorite book of poetry for children?