Technically speaking, my kids aged out of the picture book demographic…a half decade ago, but we all still appreciate the art, creativity and inspiration found in the best books written and illustrated for the toddler set.
We love it when food talks, when inanimate objects come to life on the page and when a family of forest animals takes center stage. The Mixed-Up Truck, a brand new picture book from Stephen Savage, gives construction equipment personality and uses food and bath time to delight young readers…as well as my pre-tween daughters.
We learned of this book while on the Carnival Vista cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea and immediately my girls began dreaming up new construction vehicle / food mix-ups. Here’s the best of what they came up with, inspired by The Mixed-Up Truck and the food cultures of the places we were visiting.
A steamroller smooths out tasty crepes for Parisian kids. Her job was supposed to be flatting the fresh black asphalt on the Champs-Élysées but instead, this young streamroller gets mixed-up and ends up helping out in a Parisian creperie, serving up sweet and savory treats to French school kids on a field trip. In the end, one little blonde girl gives our steamroller heroine a kiss after she makes her a delicious Crêpe Sucre.
In Naples Italy, a young forklift gets lost on the way to the docks where he was to report for his first day of work loading cargo onto freighter ships when he ends up in L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele helping to slide cheesy pizza pies out of the ancient stone oven and onto the tables of hungry customers.
An older, out of work wrecking ball no one believes can help with construction work any longer finds new employment in Athens Greece helping to smash up chickpeas in a hummus factory. Soon, people from all over Europe are coming to the Greek Islands to taste the famous Wrecking Ball Red Pepper Hummus.
Finally, a backhoe in Barcelona wanders away from the never ending construction at Sagrada Familia to get something yummy to eat. When the gelato shop owner says he has to close early because his workers want the afternoon off to watch the big FC Barcelona match at Camp Nou, our little backhoe hero puts on an apron and starts scooping sorbet and gelato. The first person in line is a bright-eyed pre-teen girl with long Dutch braids in her hair. She orders a triple scoop of chocolate, mint and stracciatella. Soon, a long line forms and the owner hires the backhoe to work there every day.
No matter your age or the age of your children, a good picture book is capable of capturing, and spurring on, the imagination. The Mixed-Up Truck is a super book that young kids will love to have read to them again and again, and eventually read for themselves as they grow up. Pick up a copy of The Mixed-Up Truck today…and enter the HUUUUGE Mixed-Up Truck & Toy Giveaway!!!
*OWTK received compensation from Macmillan Publishing along with a copy of The Mixed-Up Truck to facilitate this post. All opinions and creative story ideas above and honest and unbiased, as always.