Friday, August 17, 2012

Big Truck and Little Truck by Jan Carr

Big Truck and Little Truck by Jan Carr, illustrated by Ivan Bates

Rating: 5 stars

Big Truck and Little Truck are two hard-working trucks on Farley's Farm.  Everything Little Truck knows is thanks to Big Truck; Big Truck has taught him how to cart equipment, stake scarecrows, take vegetables into the city, and do all sorts of chores that sound a lot more fun than the chores I do most days.  If Little Truck is nervous about something, Big Truck is there to offer encouragement.

One day Big Fred Farley needed Big Truck to do a big job--to help with a tree down.  Little Truck was left by himself, and realizes how alone he is without his truck-chum.  He waits anxiously for Big Truck's return...and then is pretty dismayed to find Big Truck limp up, clearly beaten down and broken down from that big job.  To the shop he must go.

Once again, Little Truck is left alone.

He's in familiar territory, but without his friend and booster and teacher, everything is different.  As the days turn to weeks, Little Truck slowly, slowly, slowly gains confidence in doing the old jobs that he once did with Big Truck.  He's proud of himself and, of course, when Big Truck returns (smiley and shiny thanks to Ivan Bates' great illustrations), he's proud of Little Truck, too.

This is the perfect book for Ben right now, because Lorelei is off to kindergarten.  She'll be gone from us from (gasp!) 7 AM until 4 PM.  I am still in shock from this and know that it'll take a few weeks or months to get used to.

But Ben will be the one who will suffer--and then benefit--the most.

He's a smiley, happy kid but still shy.  Lorelei happily introduces him to anyone and everyone, and encourages him to do the things she does.  She loves him, and he loves her fiercely right back.  It'll be hard for him to spend so many hours on his own at school and with me--I expect he'll be the most excited when she steps off that school bus in the afternoon.

Kiefer and I will be tied for second, just a heartbeat behind.

This is a wonderful book, especially for those little brothers or little sisters who need a little nudge to do more things for themselves and by themselves.  Hopefully Ben and all those other little siblings will discover some inner strength and creativity and happiness, just like Little Truck.

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