This book always catches my eye when I see it on the library shelf; this isn’t the first time I’ve picked it up. Unlike berries, books can be picked again and again!
One morning, Wesley is playing with his toy truck, his “red semi-flatbed rig” (that rolls of the tongue nicely). Strangely, Wesley suddenly finds himself behind the wheel of a real truck. He heads out onto the highway, journeying through hills and forests green and orange with Autumn leaves.
The author knows how to use words. At one point, she writes that, “The storm was so close, you could smell it.” In the back of the book, she tells you what some of the words and sayings in the story mean, like “bob-tailed” and “[b]ubble trouble.”
And the illustrator’s paintings make you feel like you are there in rain and sun and a deep blue storm, on a gray morning and a golden day. (Also, according to the front of the back, “sand and road dirt” were used in the paintings.)
Of course, the trucking life has its dangers. Right now, where I am, the roads are snowy; I can only imagine what it would be like to drive a big truck and try to keep myself and others safe. In the book, Wesley runs into danger of his own towards the ending when that storm comes along, followed by another surprise or two.
I am sure not everybody who picks up this book will want to be a trucker, but the book is still a fine portrait of a special world.
While not written so very long ago, it looks like the book may not be in print. Many libraries might have it, though.
Weatherby, Brenda. The Trucker. Illustrated by Mark Weatherby. New York: Scholastic Press, 2004. Print. ISBN 0-439-39877-0