The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey

Published by Norton Young Readers

The Old Truck: Pumphrey, Jerome, Pumphrey, Jarrett: 9781324005193: Amazon.com:  Books
the old truck + sponge stamps craft - This Picture Book Life

Summary:  Before the title page, there’s an illustration of a young couple building a barn with their red pickup parked out front.  The woman is pregnant.  Fast forward several years, and their daughter is old enough to help out, and to use her imagination to pretend that the truck is a boat, airplane, or moon rover.  As she gets older, so does the truck, until it comes to rest by the barn, covered by weeds and snow.  When the young woman returns to take over the farm, she tows the old truck out and gets to work fixing it up.  It takes hard work and long days, but she is able to get both the farm and the truck up and running.  The last page shows her loading up the truck with produce while her own young daughter perches on the tailgate.  48 pages; ages 3-8.

Pros:  I looked at this book shortly after it came out in January, and ultimately decided not to review it.  I must have been out of sorts (or out of my mind) that day, because almost a year later, I loved it.  The illustrations, created by over 250 handcrafted stamps, tell the story as much or more than the spare text.  The back flap says that the Pumphrey brothers were inspired by strong women in their Texas home, especially their single mom and great-grandmother who bought a farm with the money she earned picking cotton.  Caldecott committee, pay attention!

Cons:  I was a bit confused at first when the truck became a boat, an airplane, and a moon rover.

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