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Reviewed by:
  • The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey
  • Natalie Berglind

Pumphrey, Jarrett The Old Truck; written and illus. by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. Norton, 2020 [40p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-324-00519-3 $17.95 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-324-00520-9 $17.48 Reviewed from galleys R 3-6 yrs

An old red truck is used by a couple and their daughter for tasks "on a small farm," but it eventually ages, as does the couple's daughter ("the old truck grew older," the caption says, as the girl grows taller). The truck, abandoned, sits in a patch of grass by the farm long enough to turn brown with rust, until the cycle is started over when the girl grows into an adult: "On a small farm, a new farmer worked hard." The woman repairs the truck, and on the last page, she is seen on her own farm with her own daughter with a red truck. This readaloud uses easy, repetitive language that kids would be quick to catch onto; much of the narration happens visually, through uniquely crafted stamps that depict the farm, the truck, and the Black family that own them in blocky shapes that are textured to fade around the edges. This picture book addresses the circular tendency of time as the truck and the girl end up where they started; the faded colors give it a vintage feel that adds to its sense of timelessness. It's a quietly lyrical treatment that represents the diversity of the farming business and celebrates the labor of families that work the land. [End Page 223]



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