Book Review: Little Blue Truck Series
"Beep! Beep! Beep!" When you look up the best books to buy for your baby or toddler, Little Blue Truck comes up quite frequently. So of course, we bought Little Blue Truck and Little Blue Truck Leads the Way for Emmett before he was even born. He was even lucky enough to have these read to him multiple times as a fetus, and even more after he was born. Over the last year, we have been adding different books to the series into his collection. This series is definitely a go-to for him, and I end up reading it at least once a day if I have one of the books in the series out. In fact, I pulled all the books out for him so I could write this review, and he has been handing one after the other to me to read to him.
Little Blue Truck
The classic, first book in the series: Little Blue Truck. This is the book that you just get an urge to add a slight twang to your voice as you read it aloud. You might ask why this is a favorite for young readers. Well, I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's all the animals and sounds. Maybe it is Blue himself that kids like. Or, maybe kids just like the way the book is read aloud. Either way, this book will be a favorite, so make sure you like it because you will be reading it a lot.
In Little Blue Truck, you are introduced to most of the characters that are throughout the other books: Toad, Goat, Sheep, Cow, Pig, Hen, Duck, and Horse. It starts with Blue taking a drive and saying hi, or 'beeping' in his case, to all the animals he sees along the way. Which, I just want to mention that in real life, 'beeping' is not a sign of saying 'hi' or being friendly to others.
Anyways, Dump Truck then comes by fast telling everyone he doesn't have time to talk to every animal he passes. When he gets stuck in the mud, he asks for help from the animals, but they just ignore him. Then, Blue shows up to help, but he ends up getting stuck himself. When Blue asks for help, the animals show up to help get the trucks out of the mud. They can't quite push the trucks out of the mud, so guess who shows up to save the day.
That's right! Even the smallest of the animals can help save the day! The book ends with the Dump Truck thanking Blue and the animals, and admitting that he should be more friendly to others. Then, Blue asks all the animals if they want a ride, and they are on their merry way. You are probably wondering what the most important part of this book is. Well, I think it's how cute these animals look after the get the trucks free. I mean look at them:
You can't tell me that the pig dancing and sheep lifting his arms up isn't the cutest thing ever. Okay, the horse is a little creepy, but the rest of them are adorable. On a more serious note, this book teaches a great lesson about being nice and friendly to others because you never know when you are going to need their help. It's a great lesson for everyone to learn, even parents because we can sometimes forget to be friendly. Why else is this book great for young readers? It introduces different animals and vehicle sounds. Your child will love you attempting, and most likely not doing a great job at it, to make the different animals' sounds.
Now that Emmett is flipping pages himself, it is a little difficult to get through an entire page before he wants to turn it, but that is the case with most of the books we have with a lot of text. Little Blue Truck is easy to memorize, so you don't necessarily have to be looking at the page to know what it says. Honestly, you will probably learn it pretty quickly with how often your child asks you to read it to them. The pictures in the book are cute and fun to look at. I know this will be a favorite for the next few years, and I'm glad we bought this book for Emmett.
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
While I love the original Little Blue Truck, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way isn't as good. I still like the book, and Emmett enjoys it when we read it, but I feel like it is lacking in certain areas.
The first page is the exact same as Little Blue Truck: "Horn went 'Beep!' Engine purred. Friendliest sounds you ever heard." Then, it shows Blue coming into the city and being awestruck by how big and fast everything is. The author decided to then have all the other vehicles be extremely rude to Blue, saying things like "Shove on, Shorty!" and "Move it, Bud- I'm first, you're last!" Honestly, we shouldn't really show our children this type of behavior, especially since the message in this book is more subtle than the first.
Anyways, the book continues with Blue saying that they should go one at a time, so the streets aren't congested. The mayor's limo miraculously stops working, so Blue asks if he would like a ride. This is probably my favorite page:
Why? It's really fun to make a voice for the mayor. I always try to give him a city accent. So, all the vehicles get in a line behind Blue. Some of them even offer for others to go before them, which I think is the main point of the story. All of a sudden, there is a marching band that joins the vehicles, and everyone starts waving and clapping as Blue passes.
My opinion: Not very realistic and hard to decipher what the true message behind the book is. I'm not sure if the author was going for a 'let's get in a line, and everything should be fine' approach, a 'don't be mean to others because things might end badly for you' approach, or a 'slow down and take your time because there is no need to rush' approach. The illustrations are fine; although it doesn't remind me of any cities I've been to.
So, would I suggest this book? Yes. Why? Because it's a good addition to the series. If your child likes Little Blue Truck, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way will definitely be a great addition for them to read. The good thing about this book is that it is easy to memorize, and Emmett loves the police car.
Little Blue Truck's Halloween
We were at the store when I stumbled across Little Blue Truck's Halloween. Instantly, I knew we had to buy it for Emmett. It turns out that he loves the flaps on the pages. Just to be clear, this book is a hardcover book; however, it is not a traditional hardcover. It is more like a baby and toddler-friendly hardcover, except Emmett has already ruined the flaps because he played with it so much.
So, Blue and Toad are going to a party, and they start inviting others along for a ride. Throughout the book, it describes different animals' costumes. Then, it asks, "Under the mask who do you see?" Your child then lifts the flap, and it says something like "'Baaa!' says the sheep. 'It's me! It's me!'" After Blue picks up everyone and arrives at the party, Toad says that there is one more. Can you guess who it is? The sheet comes off, and there is Little Blue!
Overall, this book is well worth the money. Sure, I wish the flaps were a little more like Little Blue Truck's Springtime so they wouldn't get ruined as fast. However, Emmett loves this book, so that's all that matters. The illustrations for Little Blue Truck's Halloween as great. I especially love the party. Since the book pretty much follows an order, it is easy to memorize the pages. This is extremely important when your child keeps lifting the flap up and down, so you cannot actually see the text. Little Blue Truck's Halloween is a perfect addition to your young one's collection, especially near Halloween. "Beep! Beep! Boo!"
Little Blue Truck's Christmas
Of course, we had to get Little Blue Truck's Christmas for Emmett for his 1st Christmas. We read this to him the entire month of December, and it was definitely a favorite. This was the most educational out of the entire series because there is counting. I hope more books come out like this one, but maybe with colors or shapes. Just like Little Blue Truck's Halloween, this book is a baby-friendly hardcover, but without the flaps that can get damaged.
"Beep! Beep! Beep! December's here." Little Blue has to deliver trees to all the animals for Christmas. He stops by each animal's home, and they ask him for a certain tree. All the while, the author counts down how many trees are left. There ends up being one tree left, and guess who gets that tree? Little Blue and Toad!
The last page has twinkling lights on the Christmas tree, which is kind of cool. At the same time, they are a little bright for a little one's eyes, especially since the book is so close to their face. Emmett ended up loving this book, and I will be pulling it out every December for him to read for the next few years. I am glad we bought this book for him, even though we will have to do something to make the lights less bright.
Little Blue Truck's Springtime
"Yoo-hoo!" Yeah, I'm not sure why it says that throughout Little Blue Truck's Springtime. When I first read this book, I was like, "What in the world did I just buy for my son?" Now, I've read it so much that I kind of like it. That, or I just know how to read it out loud better.
Blue is taking a drive with his friend, Toad. Along the way, they see their animal friends, like the cow and duck. Then, you lift the flap and see the baby animals. Essentially, that is the entire storyline. There isn't much to it other than that. There are a couple of times where you can count the number of baby animals which is nice for educational purposes.
Emmett got Little Blue Truck's Springtime in his Easter basket. Lucky him. He really loves the story and opening the flaps. I think the flaps in this book are much better than the ones in Little Blue Truck's Halloween. He has had this book for over a month now, and it has not been damaged yet, so I think that is a good sign. I guess the only thing is the storyline is similar to Little Blue Truck's Halloween, where there isn't much going on compared to the other books in the series. However, I love how Emmett can learn the names of all the baby animals. So, would I recommend this book? Yes, as long as you can get past the "Yoo-hoo" throughout the book. This is a great addition if your little one loves this series, and the flaps are great entertainment for them.
Goodnight, Little Blue Truck
Here is the thing. I bought Good Night, Little Blue Truck for Emmett as a Christmas present. When it came in, I was like "Umm...it's a hardcover, but not like the other hardcovers." So, I ended up saving it for his 1st birthday, even though I knew he still wouldn't be able to read it then. This book is an actual hardcover book with a book sleeve and paper pages. Just know that before you buy it. Mainly, this sits in the closet, so he doesn't damage it. I've pulled it out twice for him, and he is a little upset that I don't let him flip the pages, so he hasn't read the whole thing more than once.
"Thunder crashing. Lightening flashing." Blue and Toad are on their way home during a thunderstorm. Once they get settled in, different animals start showing up and asking if they can have a safe place to stay during the storm.
Blue tells everyone that thunderstorms are good because it helps water the plants. I think the author was trying to add a not so subtle way to tell kids to not be scared of thunder and lightning. I'm not too sure how well this will work. I guess I will find out in a few years. Anyways, after the storm passes, Blue and Toad take everyone home. Once everyone is home, Blue and Toad head back to their place, and go to sleep for the night. Now you get why it's called Good Night, Little Blue Truck?
This was probably one of the longest books in this series. And, I'm not saying that as a bad thing. I think it is really cute how all the animals seem scared of the thunderstorm, but they feel safe with everyone else. I would recommend this book for ages 2.5 and up because it is a hardcover and not a board book. However, if they create a Good Night, Little Blue Truck board book, I would say buy it right away because it will end up being a favorite.
Overall, a good book. But, has anyone else wondered how all these animals can fit in the back of Blue? Also, that teddy bear is cute.
Other Books in the Series
Little Blue Truck's Valentine: This one will be published on December 8, 2020. I am 100% going to be buying this for Emmett as a gift for Valentine's and will update my review once he has read it a few times.
Little Blue Truck's Beep-Along Book: This book isn't really a book. I guess you are supposed to sing this to the tune of 'If you're happy and you know it." After reading reviews, I found that the beeper doesn't work well for some people, and it doesn't fit on a bookshelf. I will probably never buy this book for Emmett.
Little Blue Truck Farm Sticker Fun!: Apparently this is for 4 to 7-year-olds. It is an activity book with stickers. I hate stickers. I really hope Emmett doesn't like them when he is older, so I don't have to buy this book.