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The Trucker by Barbara Samuels

Ever since he was very little, Leo was a trucker.  He loved trucks, playing with them, reading books about them, and was distracted by all of the trucks outside when he went on a walk with his mother.  Unfortunately, while he was looking at a toy fire truck in a store window, his mother was looking at something else.  And that’s how they got a cat, that they named Lola.  Though Leo’s mother got Lola a brush, a cat bed, and a toy, she was much more interested in Leo and his trucks.  Leo ignored her and tried to play without her.   Until one day when the toy fire trucks were trying to stop a blaze, Lola jumped in and saved Leo’s stuffed bunny.  Leo made Lola his deputy and from then on out they were truckers together.

The mix of pet and trucks here works well.  It is a truck book that has more of a story than most, giving lots of colorful truck eye-candy but also mixing in the frustration of having a bothersome pet.  Samuels nicely mixes in visual humor (even a scene in the bathroom for gleeful giggles) with the humor of the text.  Her art is bright and vibrant, set against white backgrounds that really make it pop visually. 

This is a truck book that can be happily used at a story time, something that can be hard to find!  Happily it can be enjoyed by children who are not truck-crazy as well.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar Straus Giroux.