Monday, November 3, 2014

Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Rating: 5 stars

Little Blue and I go way back. I mean, waaaaay back.

The original Little Blue Truck was Ben's favorite book as a baby. Because I read it to him daily, I can still recite the words and recall McElmurry's sweet illustrations that correspond with the stanzas. I can still recall having baby Ben (who turns six in two weeks! what?!) sitting in my lap and reading again and again, him flipping the pages, making the animals sounds, laughing at the change in my voice for the different characters.

I also snapped up the sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way when it was released a few years later. Both of these books have all that you want in great children's books: a fun, interesting rhythm and rhyme; sweet illustrations of neat characters; a nice moral to the story. In the first book, Little Blue helps a big, rude truck get out of the muck and, through his kind actions (rather than preachy words), teaches him that it pays to be a nice guy. In the second book, country-boy Little Blue teaches big-city traffic how to slow down, be patient, and take turns.

This third book, Little Blue Truck's Christmas, is just as wonderful as the first two. It is in a board book format, so best for ages four and under. There's some counting, just from one to five and then back down again, which is best for littler readers. Little Blue puts five trees in back to deliver to his friends, who all (wonderfully) say please and thank you as they request specific trees in the truck bed of Little Blue.

Who gets the last tree? I like this part. I think in decades past the last tree would be saved for an elderly person, someone who needs it most--and while that is fine and dandy, I think the fact that Little Truck saves the last tree for himself is an example of the "self love" trend that has been occurring for the past few years: You've got to love yourself and regard your own happiness in this life we've got, and that habit starts when kids are kids...and hopefully lasts until they are old and gray (and hopefully still very happy).

It's good to see you again, Little Blue!

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