Sixteen boisterous, rhyming poems — each one highlighting the job and personality of a different vehicle, from a backhoe to an ambulance to a snowplow — invite young children to meet their favorite trucks face-to-face. Cheerful illustrations show each one in action, digging (or dozing, or dumping) away. Engaging visual details like an anxious turtle crossing the street just ahead of a steamroller are sure to keep preschoolers poring over the pages as they consider the question, “Trucks as far as eyes can see. . . . Which truck would you like to be?”
Vestergaard (Potty Animals) offers 16 poetic tributes to big machines and trucks that should prove deeply satisfying to young connoisseurs and the grownups who read to them. Rising above the usual singsong name-checking, Vestergaard celebrates not only the jobs these machines perform but also their marvelous mechanics (the garbage truck's hydraulic arms; the levers of the agile skid-steer loader). And she consistently makes word choices that offer both catchy aural hooks and powerful, concise descriptiveness. On a street sweeper: "His steely whiskers whisper/ as they gather dust and dirt./ They tickle all the gutters,/ then rinse them with a squirt." Slonim's (The Deer Watch) pictures are rendered in bright acrylics (fire engine red and construction sign yellow prevail) and outlined in appropriately rugged charcoal; their burly cuddliness skews the pages toward younger imaginations. Each machine gets a humanlike expression on its grill (or, at the very least, a pair of googly eyes), and a crew of hardworking, hard-hatted kids and one eager, floppy-eared dog help get the jobs done. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Anna Webman, Curtis Brown.