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The Truck Book (1978): Get Some Sleep and Dream of Rock and Roll

 Harry McNaught, The Truck Book (Random House, 1978)


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Lots of trucks.

I had initially thought, when we picked this one up at a garage sale, it might be a little too advanced for the bean, my construction-equipment-obsessed two-year-old. And he did have a few problems with attention span the first few times we attempted to get through it, but a week later and he was sitting through the whole thing, and within two weeks it had become a fixture during storytime. We read it probably five nights out of seven. He’s enchanted with the illustrations—not only the old-time trucks on the first page, which is to be expected, but for example the spread about building new roads. We have to go through the picture truck by truck identifying each one before I can get round to reading the text. (One of the book’s drawbacks—the camper page does not have everything identified, making this exercise a touch difficult. I flub my way through by making up names for some of the unidentified campers that I haven’t actually seen on a road in a quarter-century or so.) That parenthetical contains another thing you may find a drawback or not, depending on your perspective. The book was originally published in 1978, and unless we stumbled on a first printing that isn’t noted, it hasn’t been updated since, so a few of the trucks presented here are archaic, and a few of them may have been concept vehicles at the time that were never put into production. That said, some of the ones I’ve never seen are actually really cool. (There’s a tractor trailer like thing that can’t actually be a tractor trailer, because the trailer part comprises the whole vehicle, with the tractor mounted on the underside of the trailer. Looks very cramped, but otherwise pretty awesome.) Personally, I don’t see that as a problem. Then again, I was ten years old in 1978, so none of this strikes me as “ancient history”. Younger parents may disagree, but I’m just speculating there. One way or the other, if your kid is one of those who thinks trucks are the cat’s pyjamas, this one is bound to be a winner. *** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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