The Old Truck

by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey

An old truck is the one constant on a small family farm occupied by a Black family... read more

An old truck is the one constant on a small family farm occupied by a Black family whose only child grows from toddler-hood to girlhood, through her teenage years and into adulthood. As she grows older, so, too, does the truck which eventually falls into disrepair and sits, rusting beside the barn, right where it’s always been. The old truck never moves, remaining in the same position on the page while the action of the family happens all around it. The short declarative sentences focus on the experience of the truck while the equally uncluttered illustrations focus on the girl. Astute observers will note that, from an early age, she’s always working alongside her parents, tinkering with machinery. So it comes as no surprise that, once she inherits the farm, she restores the old truck and gets it running again so that it can VROOOOOOOM off the page in a satisfying conclusion. The retro illustrations and the personification of machinery is reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton (and will appeal to the same audience) but there is a completely modern look to the art, as well, which the brothers created with 250 handmade rubber stamps. This deeply satisfying book is one that young children will want to hear again and again, and adults won’t mind a bit. (Ages 18 months - 3 years)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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