Big Truck Little Island by Chris Van Dusen

Published by Candlewick

Summary:  A truck carrying a 20-ton load arrives by barge to a small island with narrow roads.  Before long, it has skidded off the road and into the mud, backing up traffic on either side.  The kids inside the cars are impatient to get where they’re going.  While their parents stew in the car, the kids get out and problem-solve.  They all know each other, so the two going in one direction agree to temporarily trade cars with the two going the other way.  They’re able to turn around and keep going to their destinations.  Meanwhile the truck gets helped back onto the road and is able to make its delivery: a huge Ferris wheel which is soon set up at the carnival.  Includes a note about the event in Vinalhaven, Maine that inspired this story.  32 pages; ages 3-8.

Pros:  The rhyming text tells a good story about cooperation and sharing, but it’s the illustrations that really steal the show.  Anyone who is at all mechanically inclined will enjoy the large, colorful pictures of the barge, the truck, and the Ferris wheel. This book was a finalist for the New England Book Award, which I only recently learned about.

Cons:  I lived in Rockport, Maine for a year and never made it to Vinalhaven.

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