I'm Tough!

I'm Tough! illus. by Jim McMullan. 40p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062449252. POP
PreS-Gr 1–This new installment in the popular machine series that includes I Stink! and I'm Dirty features a bright red pickup truck. While it might not the biggest truck on the farm, what it lacks in size, it makes up in spunky attitude. The self-proclaimed "tough" hauler shows off its cab and cargo bed, revvs its engine, and gets busy transporting big loads. Undaunted by potholes, puddles, freight weight, or a winding road, the little truck delivers lumber, gravel, and hay bales with a determined grin on its anthropomorphized cab face. As in other McMullan books, there are no people in the story and the truck's cargo flies into the back unassisted; a cow, other vehicles, and a curious dog appear intermittently. The simple boisterous prose has awkwardly placed rhymes, making for a choppy read-aloud. However, playfully laid out fonts in different colors and sizes, as well as the bold full-page illustrations make up for the less-than-polished text.
VERDICT Not a must, but a solid addition to many "Things That Go" collections, especially ones where other McMullan books are favored.

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