By Sallie Wolf
Illustrated by Andrew Robert Davies
Hardcover, Paperback, Board Book
Move that truck! When a truck gets stuck under a bridge, it causes a terrible traffic jam that soon turns into a block party. When attempts to remove the truck fail, two kids, some balloons, and a dog save the day. Sparse text, energetic rhyme, and clever illustrations bring depth to this simple tale.
- 2014 Illinois Reading Council Illinois Reads Selection
- Washington Library Bookamania Choice
Kirkus Reviews – December 15, 2007
Oh, no! The viaduct is too low. The big red truck gets stuck, and in no time there’s a sticky traffic jam, with rubbernecking and horns honking and a virtual parade of colorful vehicles (followed a bit later by an actual parade of Boy Scouts carrying balloons). A comedy of errors ensues until a handful of helmeted traffic cops supervise the freeing of the big red truck. Wolf’s rhyming text is simple but snappy, and minimal enough to be mastered by very young readers or even younger listeners. And Davies’s quirky pen-and-ink illustrations should yield abundant laughter. Each vehicle (neatly identified) is a story in itself, from the long pink limousine to the exterminator’s truck with the bobbing bee on top to the leaky cement mixer. A delirious age-appropriate romp.
School Library Journal – February 1, 2008
A red 18-wheeler gets stuck under a viaduct and causes a huge traffic jam. Nearby, two children who have a lemonade stand observe the incident and try to keep everyone cool by selling their wares. The police arrive and so does a tow truck, but it is too small. The traffic jam gets worse and tempers flare. The hubbub attracts news crews who interview the truck driver, and a clown hands out balloons. Eventually, a huge tow truck arrives and, after the air has been let out of the semi’s tires, the road is cleared for traffic to resume just in time, because the children are out of lemonade. The bright, flat, cartoon art brings the minimal rhyming text to life and really tells the story. “Traffic cops. Whistles blow.” The illustration shows the children pouring lemonade, car horns blowing, a driver losing his temper, a dog barking, police directing traffic, and a tow truck backing up. This is an excellent choice to share with youngsters, who can observe the action and name all the objects and the activities. It can also be “picture read,” giving children practice in their narrative skills.—Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH
Horn Book – March 1, 2008
Sometimes an accident spells good luck. For the unnamed boy and girl running a lemonade stand in front of their house, a truck stuck under a nearby overpass is just such an event. Part rhyming book for new readers (though the word viaduct on the second page might be a struggle) and part humorous drama as the traffic jam builds and builds, this appealing story highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of the young protagonists. They go where the business is, whether it is delivering lemonade to the traffic cops or encouraging a stranded clown to attract customers with his balloons concession. Eventually, thanks to the girl’s ingenuity, the truck is unstuck and the children celebrate with their new friends. Clipped sentences, all rhymes and phrases, tell this story of cars and trucks and things that won’t go. “Let us through-we’re stuck, too! Jobs to do. Recycling truck, excavator, limousine, exterminator. All stuck. Move that truck!” Stylized cartoon illustrations add to the humor. Skin tones are either ghostly white or dark brown, much the way children draw when faced with a small box of crayons. A stretch limo languishes behind an exterminator truck sporting a giant dead bee, and an Elvis lookalike sits behind the wheel of a pink convertible. Kids who are crazy about vehicles will love this one: it’s easy to read and a whole lot of fun. Good luck, big truck!