Synopses & Reviews
Come along for the ride as Frankie the big rig truck takes us on the job, driving past kiddie cars (school buses) and land yachts (RVs). Hear the horn blow and the wipers schwat the windshield clean. But, BANG! SHHUUU! Uh-oh: a blow-out! Don't worry, a service truck saves the day so we can get the job done and make a very special delivery. Every kid will love to learn the truck driver lingo in the story, and shout out their own sound effects as they return for another ride, read after read. Author Jamie Swenson takes readers from zero to sixty with her fast-talking truck and Ned Young's bright and engaging illustrations.
A big rig named Frankie takes readers on a road trip, giving them a healthy dose of trucker vocabulary (a "truck-ionary" with definitions is included). "We've got cargo ready to roll," Frankie explains. "It could be anything. You name it, we haul it." Frankie's rough-and-tumble narration ("Do I have a horn? Ha! What do you think?") owes a big debt to the vehicles in Kate McMullan's I Stink! and its sequels. Swenson (Boom! Boom! Boom!) also includes loud onomatopoeia, from the "urrrrnnnt urrrrnnnt!" of Frankie's horn to the "eeeerrrrrrrrrr... daa-daa-daa-da-da" of his Jake Brake, which should make for noisy readalouds. Young's work also has echoes of preexisting vehicular lore-the "smiling" bumpers and googly-eyed windshields of Frankie and the other trucks, buses, and cars will feel familiar to fans of the Cars and Trucktown franchises. Still, the story is consistently entertaining: from a rainstorm to a flat tire, there's no shortage of event, and Young (the Zoomer books) fills his bright, eye-catching scenes with myriad details to explore. Ages 3 6.--PW
Frankie the semi introduces himself and all the things he can do. A big rig gets up close and personal in Swenson's latest, and young vehicle lovers will be enthralled. Frankie pulls no punches in this down-to-earth look at semis. He speaks directly to readers, and his voice is definitely that of a truck. (Those who read this aloud may be thrown off by the rhyme that comes and goes.) Frankie counts his 18 wheels (by twos), shows what he is hauling and invites readers along for the ride. Onomatopoeic words in a large font fill up the spreads as Frankie blasts his horn for readers, tests out his Jake brake, turns on the wipers during a brief storm and suffers a blown tire, all capturing the real-life sounds. Frankie introduces readers to trucking terms and phrases (defined in the "Truck-tionary" in the backmatter) that are sure to tickle young readers' fancies: alligator, magic mile, back off the hammer, Christmas tree. Throughout, Young's brightly colored Cars-like illustrations bring Frankie to life, the windshield his eyes, the front bumper his mouth, the rest of the truck body serving to help express his emotions. Frankie's surroundings are slightly retro, but all is shiny and spiffed, just like the big rig himself. Youngsters who meet Frankie will be looking for him on every highway, as he's a friend they won't soon forget. (Picture book. 3-5)--Kirkus
Frankie is a big truck with an even bigger personality. The lightning bolt on the side of his shiny blue trailer shows that he is ready to roll, and the loopy chrome grin on his grill shows that he is going to love every minute of it. There's lots to look at as Frankie takes on cargo and then hits the road, passing a waterpark, a farm, and a retro diner before reaching his destination-Dinosaur Land! Speckled with convincing onomatopoeia and sound effects ("URRRRNNNT-URRRRNNT!" goes Frankie's horn) and jazzy CB slang (handily defined in a glossary), the text has an unpredictable edge, making it a vibrant read-aloud, while sharp realistic paintings with lots of background detail will capture prereaders' attentions. A friendly, peppy addition to the canon of books for truck-obsessed tots that already includes Kate McMullan's I Stink! (2002), David Gordon's The Three Little Rigs (2005), and Chris Gall's Dinotrux (2009). And as Frankie advises, "Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down!" - Paula Willey--Booklist
PreS This bright, colorful look at an eighteen-wheeler surely will be a hit with young audiences. The rig greets readers with "Hello there./Name's Frankie./Proud to meet you" and proceeds to invite them to come along with him on the road. Relying upon truck lingo and sounds, the big truck crosses the country, explaining what's going on in a few words and sentences. He blows his horn ("urrrrnnnt!"), uses his brake ("eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr daa-daa-da"), and suffers a blowout ("Bang Pop ssssssss"). Unfamiliar words and phrases, such as "Hit the Jake Brake!" and "magic mile," are explained in the "Truck-tionary" at the end. The big and bold cartoon illustrations and the text's use of sound effects and a few unusual phrases should make this a fun read-aloud for toddlers and a good storytime participation book as well. Given the number of books on cars and trucks available, this might not be a necessary purchase, but it will be a popular one. Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA--SLJ
About the Author
Jamie A. Swenson received her MFA from Hamline University. She works as an early literacy storyteller and librarian at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin where she shares fabulous books with children and adults. Jamie lives with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and one lazy cat. Jamie would love to go on a trip with a big rig like Frankie-URRRRNNNT-URRRRNNNT! Cruise on over to her website www.jamieaswenson.com.
Ned Young is a self-taught painter and illustrator whose work has been published on a variety of merchandise, including prints, calendars, puzzles, mugs, and greeting cards. He is the author and illustrator of the Zoomer series. He lives in Brigham City, Utah. Visit him at www.nedyoung.blogspot.com.