We have loved Where’s My T-R-U-C-K by Karen Beaumont, with pictures by David Catrow (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011) for long a time. It is perhaps my favorite rhyming book in our collection. I am a huge fan of Karen Beaumont (Baby Danced the Polka being one of the most beloved picture books in our house), and the edgy, distorted, sort-of-disgusting-in-a-way-that-makes-it-impossible-to-stop-looking-at-it-style of David Catrow is growing on me and is perfectly suited for this story.
“‘Shhh!’ I hear my parents say, Tommy’s not himself today. He’s lost is T-R-U-C-K!’” On this first spread we see Tommy pouting in a chair. His pet cat and dog (Bowser) linger close by, seemingly sympathetic, and the shadows of Tommy’s parents are in deep discussion about his mood. Every single word in this story reads as sweetly and swiftly as this first line. In fact, even the most boring of picture book readers would find it impossible to read this story without expression. Every word, punctuation mark and rhyme is perfect.
There is chaos (Tommy’s toy box) there is humor (Tommy looking for his T-R-U-C-K behind the shower curtain and finding instead—his Grandmother: “OOPS! Not there!” and there is a spelling lesson (both my two and three-year olds know how to spell T-R-U-C-K!”)
And if you pay attention, there are clues throughout the story about just where Tommy’s truck might be (isn’t that right, Bowser?)
In the final moments before the climax, when Tommy has all but given up, he says, “I loved that truck. I love it still. I always, always, always will.”
What we say is this: We loved this book. We love it still. We always, always, always will.”