Little Blue Truck Makes a Friend   

Little Blue Truck Cover

Published by Clarion Books

Beep! Beep! Have you heard the news? There is someone new on the farm! All the animals are nervous and excited about meeting a new friend—what will he be like? Does he neigh like a horse or oink like a pig? Does he have fur or feathers? Does he swim? Does he fly? Making new friends can be scary at first but being kind and helping others feel welcome is always the right move. Luckily, Blue knows just the thing to help his friends, old and new, feel at home! Little Blue's "Beep!" was loud and clear: We are very glad you're here!


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Perennially popular Little Blue Truck returns to welcome a new neighbor. As Blue and Toad travel along, they are met by each of their animal friends, who have concerns and questions about the animal who has just moved in. Blue takes them all to meet their new neighbor, who lives in a hill with a round door marked "Woodchuck's House." When the door opens, the animals desperately hide and watch as Blue offers Chuck a loud, "WE ARE VERY GLAD YOU'RE HERE!" Chuck expresses his thanks and reveals his shyness, and the other animals are inspired to make friends. While the story offers a lovely message on being welcoming and inclusive, there is great value in the fact that none of the animals are ridiculed or criticized for their fear of meeting their new, "different," neighbor. Blue simply models kindness. That lack of commentary offers young readers a nonintrusive normalization of these feelings without accompanying shame or guilt. This increases the book's relatability and its utility as a discussion prompt on topics ranging from making friends to creating broadly inclusive communities. Typical of this series, the rhyming couplets, animal sounds, and truck beeps make this an excellent choice for a read-aloud. While some couplets do not flow as smoothly as others, this is unlikely to bother most readers. As in more recent entries, John Joseph illustrates in series artist's McElmurry's style of friendly creatures frolicking through detailed pastoral settings. Some adults may be amused that the exterior of Woodchuck's house looks like a Hobbit hole. VERDICT A welcome addition to the Little Blue Truck canon, recommended for general purchase.

—Elizabeth Lovsin, School Library Journal

Little Blue Truck and his amphibious sidekick persuade the local animals that they need not fear a newly arrived animal on the local scene.

As Little Blue Truck and Toad meander through colorful, stylized, bucolic countryside, they are stopped by Hen, wings flapping and feathers a-flying: "Someone moved in / down the road- / someone different, / Blue and Toad!" The rest of the story uses similar rhyme and rhythm, but, unfortunately, not all verses scan as easily. Toad at the wheel, Blue parks and listens to several barnyard animals relate the ways that the newcomer is different from each of them. Blue cheerfully asks, "What's all the fuss?" and insists that the animals pile into the back so they can all confront the newcomer together. When they arrive at a door in the earth marked "Woodchuck's House," Hen scoffs at the idea of life in a hole, but the ever positive Blue notes that the home seems cozy. The funniest part of the book consists of two double-page spreads in which the animals, panicked by the woodchuck's shadow, attempt to hide. True to the series, Blue and Toad are positive role models as they treat the woodchuck, named Chuck, with respect and kindness. Chuck's admission of shyness is a nice touch. The obvious lesson is enshrined in the fun of rhyming language and childlike animals.

—Kirkus Reviews

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