January 2008

Thomas the Tank Engine, watch out!

By Jon Scieszka
Review by
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There are some new vehicles in town, and they live in Jon Scieszka's Trucktown. Alas, if only those garage doors had been open when my teenage son was a preschooler, we would have definitely spent many an hour there. Award-winning (and very funny) author Jon Scieszka has teamed up with three top-notch artists to create this preschool series, with 52 books planned in all shapes, sizes, and formats. My advice: If you have a vehicle-lover worth his or her salt, start clearing out the shelf space.

As with those Thomas trains, Trucktown is filled with a variety of wheeled personalities, such as Monster Truck Max, Dump Truck Dan, Rescue Rita and Izzy Ice Cream Truck, all sporting winning smiles and wide-lidded headlamp eyes. Smash! Crash! is full of these characters on bright, bold, action-filled pages. The text is intended for the very young (or a beginning reader), as evidenced by this first page: Jack Truck. Dump Truck Dan. Best friends. Jack and Dan. So what exactly do these two friends like to do together? Smash! Crash! of course, and all of their smashing and crashing will delight any truck-loving child. Throughout these pages Jack and Dan race through Trucktown, quickly introducing us to its many personalities and possibilities. The twosome realize they are being followed by a shadow something pursuing them with a task, and it turns out to be Rosie, who has a job that's just up their alley (and I bet you can quickly guess exactly what it is!).

This new book will no doubt be an instant and beloved read-aloud. The talented artwork trio of David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon has created quite the cast of lovable yet tough trucks, sure to be smashed and crashed again and again.

Alice Cary drives (sedately) in Groton, Massachusetts.

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Get the Book

Smash! Crash!

Smash! Crash!

By Jon Scieszka
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781416941330

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