Anderson, Peggy Perry. Chuck’s Truck. Clarion, 2017 (reissue). ISBN 978-0544926189 32 pp. $12.99
This rhyming book is a great transition for beginning readers. When Chuck’s truck breaks down after being piled with barnyard animals, Handyman Hugh and his whole delightfully diverse crew come to the rescue, and everyone pitches in to lend a hand in transitioning the pickup from old blue and rusty red to shining new blue.
The illustrations have a waxy, crayon feel to them. Colors are whimsical and child-like: a purple goat, a yellow horse, a red dog, a green cat, a blue goose. Dialogic reading of the book could encourage naming of colors and animals in conjunction with the story, or asking for other words that rhyme.
Recommended for large collections, or one-on-one reading.
Review by Beth Gallaway
Simon, Seymour. Emergency Vehicles. Chronicle, 2006. ISBN 978-0811854078 32 pp.
This exciting book highlights vehicles used to help people: firetrucks, rescue helicopters, ambulances, police cars and more, giving the basic function and duties of each. Each vehicle is highlighted in a two page spread with a color photo and a paragraph or two of information, whetting the reader’s appetite for topics that a whole book could be devoted to.
Like Simon’s Planet Mars volume of the Seemore Readers series, most words contain fewer than two syllables, and the font is large for beginning readers. The word complexity seems above a Pre-K to grade 1 audience. The photos vary between shots of just the vehicle and interior images with people. The small format doesn’t allow for more than one image per vehicle, and the larger than life impact of these important vehicles would be better suited to a larger picture book format.
There are no source notes, glossary, or index–although not traditional in easy readers, this is a work of nonfiction, and should contain a bibliography at the very least. Purchase in paperback.