Five Trucks

illus. by Brian Floca. 32p. S. & S./Atheneum/Richard Jackson Bks. Jun. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481405935; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781481405942.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—With the sparest of texts, this book features airport vehicles rarely seen in preschool books as well as the trucks' diverse drivers (men and women of various ethnicities). Unlike most counting books, the story introduces ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.) rather than cardinals (one, two, three). On the second appearance of each truck, the text counts back from the fifth to the first truck, adding another concept covered in the book. It's when viewers see each truck for the second time that it is identified by name, e.g., catering truck, baggage conveyor, etc., in a different font, giving the feel of an informational book for young audiences. A wordless subplot about a boy with his dad and a colorful plaid suitcase starts on the title page. The suitcase is easily identifiable as it's loaded onto the plane. The story culminates with the boy waving to the drivers from his airplane seat. While the crisp, clear illustrations, rendered in watercolor, ink, and gouache, are uncluttered, there is much to talk about in the pictures. Whether shared with vehicle-loving youngsters or general audiences, this book should satisfy many listeners/viewers with its rich content and engaging art.—Maralita L. Freeny, District of Columbia Public Library
Reissue, 1999, DK Ink. "Five drivers for five trucks" begins this concept book, as five workers head out across a tarmac to prepare an airplane for take-off. At close inspection, there's more to see--a boy, his dad, and an overstuffed, rainbow-colored plaid suitcase pop up in various illustrations. The book's simplicity is engaging and age appropriate--even those who are vague about airport operations will catch on quickly.

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