ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Sara Gillingham
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: Sept, 2015
Series: Busy Baby
Ages: 0 – 3
From the publisher: “In Trucks, Busy Baby can race in a fire truck, use a cement mixer, and collect recycling. Whatever Busy Baby does, the most important thing is to make some new friends along the way. [the book] will keep the very youngest readers busy reading, playing, and learning.”
My three kids LOVED reading this board book and each engaged in their own way. It was one that I was uncertain about. The spinning head (happy and sad face) seemed a bit gimmicky to me. The illustrations are rather utilitarian (geometric shapes), and I wasn’t hoping for a lot as I showed it to my kids. My son (15 mos) was fascinated with the twirling head. He was riveted. My oldest daughter (almost 3) wanted it read three times in a row. She was making the truck sounds (imitating my reading of the descriptive sounds). My youngest daughter (15 mos) was pointing at the brightly coloured truck. It is rare that a book keeps the attention of all three of my kids for three readings in a row, but this one did. My son has returned to it over and over again in the days since first reading. He now points and the trucks and has moved beyond just the faces.
Upon several re-reads, I am reminded of 1950s art and advertisements when I look at the illustrations. They are growing on me. The twirling face seems fairly sturdy – my toddlers have not been able to destroy it yet! I don’t see the connection to the happy and sad face for every illustration, but my toddlers enjoyed turning it to the sad face for the cement truck when they heard the “Uh-oh, there’s a crack in the sidewalk!” and flipped it to the happy face at the “Nice work!”, so they understood the concept.
I would recommend this for infants and toddlers of any gender.
Author Sara Gillingham is an award-winning art director, designer and author-artist. She lives with her family near Vancouver, Canada.
There is a companion book in the series called Friends that follows a similar model.