Jon Scieszka's Trucktown: Smash! Crash!

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Jon Scieszka's Trucktown: Smash! Crash! Book Poster Image
Young truck fans will love this boisterous duo.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

Trucks do what the title says, and just as exuberantly.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is heavy on the smashing and crashing, but light on plot and story. The trucks have names and characters, and kids who like action will love rolling through the chaos of Trucktown. This book is the first in what will be a very extensive Trucktown series.

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What's the story?

Two truck friends roll out together looking for smashing and crashing. As they meet various trucks they add to the chaos of Trucktown, until finally they find useful ways to put all that energy to work.

Is it any good?

With bright colors, oversized wheels, and big personalities, super-energetic duo Jack Truck and Dump Truck Dan hit the road, looking for smashing and crashing. Most of their truck friends have work to do, but the two friends manage to create enough chaos on their own. Happily, they even smash and crash in helpful ways at times. They help Monster Truck Max stack his barrels and build a pirate ship for Gabriella Garbage and Grader Kat.

Along the lines of the Thomas the Tank Engine books, SMASH! CRASH! is filled with a variety of trucks, each with its own name, attitude, and job to do. The book itself is an easy read-aloud/early reader with big block letters, simple words, and short sentences. The full-page illustrations are full of action, and the trucks definitely have personalities. Each one will soon star in a book of its own, as well as in a spot on the interactive Web site developed by Jon Scieszka as part of his crusade to inspire kids, especially boys, to read.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the trucks, of course! What are the different types of trucks in Trucktown? Which ones have you seen in real life? Would you give them the names and personalities that they have in the book? What do you think of Jack Truck and Dump Truck Dan? Why do they keep running away? Which truck is most like you? Who do the others remind you of? How does an artist make a truck seem like a person?

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