Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Every morning the truck stop has to open for business. A boy and his family own the truck stop and get there early in the morning before the sun has come up. The boy squeezes the orange juice while his parents prep the other breakfast foods. Soon the trucks start arriving. The boy knows all of the regulars and his parents know their orders by heart. There is Eighteen-Wheeler who wants all of his tires checked. Milk Tank and Maisie arrive next for a sweet breakfast of coffee and doughnuts. The man with the moving van wants pancakes. But where is Green Gus the old pickup truck? More trucks arrive, but still no one has seen him. It’s not until the little boy gets on the school bus that they figure out what has happened to Gus.
Rockwell tells a story that is a fine mix of family, food and trucks. Children will enjoy seeing how a restaurant runs and also the warmth with which regulars are remembered and served. Still, it is the trucks that will have this book off of the shelves and into little hands. It is good to see more than just a list of different types of trucks and instead have a book that can be read aloud as a story as well. Even better, there is a little mystery at the end about Gus that makes it all the more fun to read.
Iwai’s illustrations are done in cut paper collages. The types of paper add a richness to the images, combining textures from textiles, slick painted papers, and lots of patterns. The result are pictures that are colorful and a pleasure to look at closely.
A solid book, this will be a welcome bedtime addition for any family with a truck-loving child as well as a choice pick for story times. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Viking.