The Old Truck

Inspired by the strong women in the authors' lives and brought to life by more than 250 individually crafted stamps, The Old Truck is a quietly powerful ode to hard work and perseverance.

A farming family--mother, father, daughter--cheerfully toils through the seasons, feeding chickens and loading their red truck with produce even as the vehicle grows older--"And older./ And older still," until it settles into the weeds by the now-weathered barn. In a playful story bridge, the "weary and tired" truck dreams of sailing the seas, braving the skies and chasing the stars with the little girl. The girl--first seen as a bump in her mother's belly--works side by side with her parents, carrying baskets and tinkering with the tractor and truck engines. Time passes. Now a grown woman, the next-generation farmer hauls the old truck out and works day and night to repair it. Finally, she's rewarded with a satisfying (and boldly printed) "VROOOOOOOM!!" much to the panicked chickens' alarm and readers' delight.

This is a book that invites close and frequent reading. Attuned listeners will hear in the minimal text comfortable repetition with variations: "On a small farm, an old truck worked hard./ The old truck worked long." Keen-eyed children will catch small details: the way the barn gradually fades from red to brown and the foliage and crops change with the seasons. Author/illustrators and brothers Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey use a natural, earthy palette to express the simple joys of self-sufficiency and a connection to the land. Place this beauty on a low shelf with easy access. It will likely be in regular circulation among discerning young readers. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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