Category - Children's BooksBestsellers rank - 4
The focus of McPhail's heartening story is neither Ed, an old blue pickup truck, nor the narrator, a small girl, but the three-way friendship that also includes the girl's farmer father. Father and daughter admire a neighbor's truck and, when it comes up for sale, they buy it. Over time Ed proves a faithful carrier of wood and produce; the site of an overnight--well, almost overnight--camp-out; a major participant in a Fourth of July celebration. Eventually it comes time to repay Ed: "My father says that when you get to be Ed's age you have to start taking things easy." Ed is given loving care from local mechanics, and together the girl and her father build a garage, "a small barn," to shelter Ed from winter storms. McPhail's luminous ink-and-watercolor illustrations reflect the warmth of his text. Ages 4-8. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. Kindergarten-Grade 3-- McPhail has taken the comforting and familiar idea of a family treasure and has given it an entertaining twist. Ed is an old, reliable pickup truck that becomes an important part of thefamily--and hence--of this story. In fact, the truck is the only character with a name. The child narrator and her father give it many other human qualities--"Ed looks lost and empty," or "waited patiently"--but this personification is never carried to extremes; readers know that Ed is still very much a truck. McPhail's soft but contained and detailed illustrations represent a departure from the broad cartoonlike style of his "Pig Pig" books (Dutton) and the page-encompassing watercolors of Farm Morning (HBJ, 1985). Snatches of pictures on one page balance with rectangular, bordered illustrations on the opposite page. Done in watercolors with black ink that is so familiar from McPhail's previous works, here luminous colors dominate, resulting in a softer effect. Unusual vantage points--bird's-eye views of Ed sitting or driving through soft, green New England hills add to the book's unique personality. The narrator's voice is clearly that of a little girl's in the spare, matter-of-fact text. Although children may not identify with a truck as a prized possession, they will understand this child's feelings. A fine picture book with a perfect blend of text and illustration. --Jane Marino, White Plains Public Library, NYCopyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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