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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 1 year, 3 months ago

6 February 2020 THE OLD TRUCK by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey, Norton, January 2020, 48p., ISBN: 978-1-324-00519-3


“And I see your true colors

Shining through

I see your true colors

And that’s why I love you”

-- Cyndi Lauper (1986)


There are lots of books for children about a girl and her horse, or a girl and her dog, or a girl and her best human friend. But there are not a lot of kids books about a girl and her pickup truck. 


This unique, exquisite picture book about tradition and renewal is a keeper. 


The blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a fascinating interview with the Pumphrey brothers in which they detail their creation of THE OLD TRUCK.  http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=4975 Don’t miss it! It includes photographs of the process in which they crafted hundreds of stamps which were used to create the illustrations. 


“The old truck grew weary and tired,

So the old truck rested.

and dreamed.

The old truck sailed the seas,

braved the skies,

and chased the stars.

But the old truck grew older.


It’s in the little girl’s dreams where the pickup truck is accomplishing the most amazing feats. The story, which takes place on a small family farm, begins when the main character is but knee-high to a grasshopper. Soon, she is growing big enough to be doing a kid’s share of work around the farm. We watch her transition from repairing her bicycle to doing basic maintenance on the tractor and, we suddenly realize, she has matured into a young woman. 


This, as the old pickup, now permanently parked alongside the barn, has gotten deeper and further lost in the weeds...and the snow.


“On a small farm, a new farmer worked hard.”


Then the family farm enters a new chapter. That now-grown-up girl has become the farmer. No parents in sight. We see her hook up the tractor to her old friend, and then pull it out of the weeds. She then set outs to give her old pickup a new life. 




My favorite spread involves the main character starting the engine after successfully rebirthing the truck, which causes all of the chickens in the farmyard to go into hysterics. The tale ends with the main character carrying baskets of just-picked produce to the reborn truck, where her own smiling daughter is sitting on the tailgate, waiting.


I make a point of employing a female-owned and operated repair shop to maintain my Prius, so I’m excited to have this picture book showing a woman rebuilding a truck engine. And it’s always great to see a book depicting renewal and reuse rather than discarding and purchasing new. Every time something is reused, it means that the effect on the environment of mining and processing raw materials to manufacture a new one of them is avoided. And that’s a really big deal.


THE OLD TRUCK is an enlightened, memorable, and incredibly sweet  story. 


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Pickshttp://richiespicks.pbworks.com





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