Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jull McElmurry.
When a picture book with beautiful illustrations, a unique story, and a rhyme that isn’t forced finds its way into my hands, I am happy to read it over and over again at the request of my toddler. There are books I try to hide because I cannot bring myself to read the jammed up cadences and odd rhyme schemes. That is not the case with this book!
The illustrations captured my heart right from the beginning. The first spread of a little blue country truck making its way into the big, tall, fast city is endearing and peaceful. As the little blue truck becomes more and more overwhelmed with the pace of the city, the illustrations capture the movement and the stress in such a unique way. I can feel how small and unimportant the little blue truck is made to feel.
The personification of the cars adds a great deal to the personality of the story. The expressions can be understood by any age.
There even is a little point to the story. It doesn’t matter how important you think you are, or how fast, or how much better than anyone else, you still need to work with others. Sometimes, thinking you are more important can make a bad situation even worse.
I am a strong believer that children should hear poetry in their books. I also understand why a lot of agents don’t want them. A good rhyme is hard to pull off. Even the smallest mistake in rhythm or one line with a forced rhyme can ruin the book, especially when it’s read aloud. That is not the case for this book. I enjoy reading it aloud, and find myself tipping my hat to Schertle for some of her masterfully written lines.
I realize this book is part of a series, which I have not read yet. I have only recently discovered this book. I am looking forward to getting more and supporting this author and illustrator for jobs well done.