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Truck Stop

Written by Anne Rockwell

Illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Viking Juvenile (2013)

Early each morning, before the sun is even up, the truck stop opens for breakfast, and the trucks start pulling in. Eighteen wheeler, milk tank, moving van, and flatbed! Their drivers order eggs and bacon, pancakes with syrup, and a blueberry muffin. For the boy who helps his parents at the counter, there is nothing better than seeing all the trucks roll in.


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“ Here's an engaging homage to the truck-stop community that serves long- and short-haul drivers. Told from the point of view of a boy whose parents and uncle run the diner and repair shop, the narration is simple but offers enough well-chosen descriptors to make children feel the tires rumbling, see the bright lights, and smell breakfast cooking. The family's day begins before sunup as they prepare breakfast and open shop for the regulars who come rolling in: Eighteen-Wheeler, Milk Tank and Maisie, Pete and Priscilla’s Tow Truck—a diverse group who orders coffee, eggs, sausages and pancakes (they resemble their breakfast dishes). But Green Gus, the old pickup, is missing. As the boy rides Big Yellow Bus to school, he spots Green Gus broken down on the side of the road and knows just who can help. Colorful multimedia paintings capture the warmth and camaraderie. This slice of Americana is just right for little truckers, who will also enjoy poring over endpapers illustrated with a variety of trucks. ”

— Booklist

“ A boy describes a morning at his family’s truck stop. He and his parents get up early and prepare for customers who have breakfast at the diner. Uncle Marty turns on the lights in the garage. All the regulars start arriving, including Maisie, who drives a milk tank, and Dan, who drives a moving van. Everyone has a “usual” order, like sausage and pancakes with lots of syrup. But the man who drives a green pickup is missing, and no one has seen him. Soon the Big Yellow Bus comes by and, on the way to school, the narrator spots Green Gus by the side of the road. The boy asks the bus driver to call the truck stop, and he knows that Pete and Priscilla’s Tow Truck will come by, that Uncle Marty will fix the problem, and that the driver will have bacon and eggs sunny side up. Tomorrow the morning routine will play out all over again. The simple text and mixed-media illustrations tell the story well, and the endpapers display 16 different kinds of vehicles. This book will be a hit with youngsters who love trucks. ”

— School Library Journal

“ The young narrator accompanies his parents each day as they open their truck stop for the breakfast crowd. All the regulars pull in: Sam in the eighteen-wheeler wants eggs, bacon, and coffee; Maisie in the milk truck is a coffee and doughnuts gal; “Diligent Dan” in his moving van favors sausage and pancakes. Everybody notices that Green Gus in his rickety old pickup hasn’t made his usual appearance, though, and by the time the school bus picks up the narrator, he’s pretty worried. Fortunately, he spies Green Gus broken down at the side of the road and urges the school bus driver to call for Uncle Marty, back at the truck-stop garage, to arrange for a tow. This is hearty, satisfying pre- and primary school fare, with a tasty menu, a concerned community, diverse rolling stock, and a sharp-eyed kid who performs a realistic service. Iwai’s painted and cut-paper collage has the toylike charm of a Fisher-Price playworld, complete with a friendly, round-headed cast and candy colored vehicles. A natural prompt for creative play, this could also encourage prediction-making in a curricular setting. ”

— BCCB Reviews

“ Illustrator Melissa Iwai uses her signature whimsical style to create a showcase of all sorts of trucks that fill both inside covers, in addition to the adorable pages within. She presents a multi-culti community of caffeine-seeking drivers, happy for the company of others (can't you just smell that freshly-brewed java?). Author Anne Rockwell offers just enough excited anticipation over finding broken-down Gus, then shows how a community quickly comes together to help a friend in need. Here's to enjoying the nicest truck stop for miles and miles, for sure! ”

— Smithsonian Institute BookDragon

“ A day in the life of a truck stop as told by its youngest worker, whose love for the place is very clear. A little boy and his parents start out before the sun is up to go to work at their busy truck stop beside the highway. The routine of their day will soothe readers: They prep the food, Uncle Marty opens the garage, and they wait for the regulars to make an appearance. “I love how they come rumbling their wheels, / and with air brakes whooshing.” Sam and Eighteen-Wheeler are first. Uncle Marty checks tires while Mom puts in Sam’s usual order. It’s coffee and doughnuts for Maisie, who drives Milk Tank. Then come Diligent Dan’s Moving Van and Digger riding on Flatbed. But where is Green Gus, the old pickup? Once Pete and Priscilla arrive in their Tow Truck, it’s time for the boy to board Big Yellow Bus. Along the way, he spies Green Gus. Pete and Priscilla come to the rescue, and Uncle Marty gets to work. The trucks and drivers go their separate ways, but only until tomorrow. Iwai’s mixed-media collage illustrations invite readers into the scenes with their bright colors and interesting textures. While a truck stop is a business, the text and artwork together spin a web around the boy and his family that make it seem quite homey, complete with good friends and good food. For truck lovers everywhere. ”

— Kirkus

“ Do you have a young reader who loves all things related to cars and trucks? I know I do, my four year old son Isaac and his best friend love anything mechanical. When we received the book Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell illustrated by Melissa Iwai, he was so excited! We've read through it several times already to the point where he has memorized most of the story. Of course, the eighteen wheeler is his very favorite, but was a bit fascinated by the milk truck, because, we realized, that he's never actually seen a mlk truck...Truck Stop is a great length for little ones around the ages of 4-5 who still like to be read to, and for around six or seven and up who are trying to learn to read on their own. The words aren't overly complicated, and for the most part my seven year old has been able to sound out the words. As an artist myself, I personally enjoy a well illustrated book, and this one definitely hits the mark. The colors are bright and vibrant, but not overly so. Just right for a little book about trucks. ”

— Just a Little Creativity