Thursday, March 14, 2019

Small Readers: Mighty Truck: Traffic Tie-Up by Chris Barton, illustrated by Troy Cummings

Clarence, a dirty brown pick-up truck, has a secret. When he gets wet, he turns into Mighty Truck, a shiny red monster truck who saves the day! (A bubble before the title page gets readers up to speed on Mighty Truck's origins).

Stella the news chopper is flying high above the city, announcing traffic jams and other important news. Stella is LOUD, just like she should be... outside. But, unfortunately, she's loud inside too, and it's really annoying her friend Clarence. He decides to teach her how to use an inside voice - with an unexpected result. She starts using her inside voice outside too, and pretty soon traffic is stuck. Will anyone get to the big art show? Can Mighty Truck save the day?

Colorful cartoons decorate the pages and will definitely make kids think of the popular Cars franchise. The "moral" of the story, that Clarence needs to be more tactful and not criticize his friends is a bit off - Stella does need to learn to use an inside voice and an outside voice, just at the appropriate time and Clarence was actually really nice about teaching her how to have an inside voice.

The words are interspersed through the cartoons, in occasional speech bubbles, and between bubbles. The text is bold and dark and generally stands out well. This is a guided reading level K, so about medium.

Verdict: Not particularly stand-out, but a good filler with pleasing characters and a strong attraction for kids who like cars and trucks.

ISBN: 9780062344700; Published May 2018 by HarperCollins; Purchased for the library

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