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Smash! Crash! (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown) Hardcover – January 8, 2008


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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Smash! Crash! (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown) + Welcome to Trucktown! (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown) + Truckery Rhymes (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 130L (What's this?)
  • Series: Jon Scieszka's Trucktown
  • Hardcover: 42 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416941339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416941330
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Welcome to Jon Scieszka's Trucktown, a brand-new preschool/kindergarten series that will come in more shapes, sizes, and formats than you can shake a bumper at. It's a world where all the characters are trucks, all the stories are action driven, and boys and girls can imagine themselves in all their crazy, loud, funny, creative, excited, full-throttle glory! It's a world where we work at play, and we play at work... and no one's afraid to get dirty or be LOUD! And it all kicks off with Smash! Crash! best friends Jack and Dan are spending their day doing what they do best--smashing and crashing! All the while a strange shadow is following them around every corner... Who is this new addition to Trucktown? What does she want? Rhythmic, rollicking text will get kids' motors running and horns honking with each refrain! This is a book that begs to be read again and again!


Meet the Trucktown Gang


Jack Truck
Jack is a prankster action hero! He is active, rowdy, messy, loud and goofy. He is the fastest truck and the best-at-truck-sports truck. Jack's work is to play. And he plays, and plays, and plays, and plays.

Dump Truck Dan
Dan is Jack Truck's best friend. He is one strong truck and loves to show off that strength, whether its pushing rocks, loading up dirt, or getting into trouble with Jack.

Payloader Pete
Pete is Dan's brother, and he is loud, rough, tough and competitive! But he's also the most loyal friend a truck could have. As he puts it "I would take a punch in the grill for those guys."


Cement Mixer Melvin
"I'm worried!" and "I don't want to" are two of Melvin's favorite phrases. He is a loveable worrier, which is good because he LOVES to worry.

Gabriella Garbage Truck
Gabriella knows everyone and everything. She's a social butterfly and maybe bit of a know-it-all, but still a blast to have around. She can always talk about what's going on! And talk... and talk... and...

Monster Truck Max
Max is everything you would expect a monster truck to be. Especially ACTIVE! He is oversized, jacked up, and nitro-boosted to the MAX! He's always getting his wild self into trouble and it's a good thing he's got good friends like Jack and Dan to help him along the way.


Grader Kat
Sensitive, creative, and mature, Grader Kat is the most artistic truck around. Don't believe it? Check out her tire treads! Her creative ideas and experimental nature make her a great addition to any adventure.

Wrecker Rosie
Rosie is big. Rosie is a wrecker. Rosie is a great big wrecker sweet and clumsy and who lives to bounce about wrecking things. But beneath all that noise and wreckage there is also a very big heart.

Tow Truck Ted
Tow Truck Ted is smart--really smart. He knows more about truck mechanics, repair, history, and even truck mythology than anybody else. But watch out, he's also got a sly side and he's always got a plan.


Izzy Ice Cream Truck
Izzy is an ice cream truck. He sells ice cream and only ice cream. And he says only one thing--"Do you want ice cream? Do you want ice cream? Do you want ice cream?"

Hook and Ladder Lucy and Pumper Pat
These fire truck twins are responsible, do-gooder citizens. Practically always together, they love doing things the right way. Lucy thinks they are being responsible. Jack and Dan think they’re a little bossy.

Big Rig
Big Rig is a bully. He's a tailgating, horn blasting, black exhaust spewing, license expired, outlaw. And those might be the nicest things you could say about him. The best thing to do with this guy is steer clear.

Rescue Rita
Rita is Lucy and Pat's little sister. And the biggest tag-a-long... She just wants to join in on all.


About the Author

Jon Scieszka is the creator of Trucktown, including the New York Times bestselling Smash, Crash!, and the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man, and many other books that inspire kids to want to read. He has worked as an elementary school teacher and is the founder of GuysRead.com, a literacy initiative for boys.

David Shannon has written and illustrated numerous award winning picture books including Duck on a Bike, the Caldecott Honor Book No David!, How I Learned to be a Pirate, and Good Boy Fergus. He is also one of the collaborative illustrators in Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series.  David lives with his wife and his daughter in Los Angeles.

Loren Long illustrated President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing; the newest version of The Little Engine that Could; Madonna’s second picture book, Mr. Peabody’s Apples; Nightsong by Ari Berk; and the Barnstormers series. He also illustrated Frank McCourt’s Angela and the Baby Jesus and is part of the Design Garage for Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series. Loren’s work has appeared in Time, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. He lives with his wife and two sons in Westchester, Ohio. Visit him at LorenLong.com.

David Gordon is the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed The Ugly Truckling and The Three Little Riggs. His first book for Simon & Schuster was the adorable Smitten. He has done concept work for Pixar’s Toy Story; Toy Story 2; A Bug’s Life; Monsters, Inc.; and Cars; as well as Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. He also did character design work on Blue Sky’s Robots. He lives in New York City. Visit him at IllustratorRanch.com.

More About the Author

[DRUM ROLL.....] PRESENTING THE ONE AND ONLY JON SCIESZKA!

Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8th, 1954. He grew up with five brothers, has the same birthday as Peter Sellers and the Virgin Mary, and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane reader were not of this world. Those plain facts, plus his elementary school principal dad, Louis, his registered nurse mom, Shirley (who once took Jon's Cub Scout den on a field trip to the prenatal ward), Mad Magazine, four years of pre-med undergrad, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University, Robert Benchley, five years of painting apartments in New York City, his lovely wife Jeri Hansen who introduced him to Molly Leach and Lane Smith, Green Eggs and Ham, his teenage daughter Casey and almost teenage son Jake, ten years of teaching a little bit of everything from first grade to eighth grade, and the last twenty years of living in Brooklyn...are just some of Jon's answers to the questions, "Where do you get your ideas?" and/or "How did you become a writer?" I don't know, just because, none of your beeswax, and flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash are some more of Jon's answers to questions you can imagine on your own. Jon met up with Lane Smith around 1986 or so, and nothing has been the same since. Their first book, the wiseguy fairy tale retelling, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! was initially rejected by most publishers as "too weird" and "too sophisticated". Published by Viking in 1989, The True Story has now sold over a million copies, been translated into ten languages, and been called a "classic picture book for all ages". Jon and Lane's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992) took the world of the picture book a few steps further. Goofing with the conventions of fairy tales and even being a book, The Stinky Cheese Man became a household word, sold another mess of copies in multiple languages, offended a few purists, and still managed to win a Caldecott Honor medal. Math Curse (1995) further stretched the notion of what subjects make good picture books, selling more books faster than either 3 Little Pigs or Stinky Cheese, and winning a whole slew of awards --all for a book full of mathematics.More recently, Jon and Lane have resurrected fables (in the smart, funny, and a little bit wicked way Aesop would have wanted them) in their latest collaboration, Squids Will Be Squids (1998). No telling where they might take the picture book next. Someone once wrote, "Jon Scieszka has forever changed the face of children's literature." And while there is still some confusion over exactly who that someone was, and whether children's literature does, in fact, have a face, most would agree-from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! to Squids Will Be Squids, since Scieszka put pen to paper, children's literature sure has been...different.

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Customer Reviews

Encourages bad manners, behavior that does not respect authority, bully type behavior.
Geneva101
Love reading them to my 3 & 5 year old sons.....they really seem to love these books too!!
PurpleTurtleMama
My 2 year old son ask to read this book every night before bed and even during the day.
G. Houser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Seteger on April 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a parent, you're going to wish the story had a little more "something" to it--a little more rhyme, a little more depth (yes, even for a children's book, this is a little shallow).

BUT your little guy or girl will fall head over heals for this. This is one of those books kids want read to them again and again and again.

Cute art; clever lettering; a so-so story (so be patient when you read it the thousandth time); but a sure-fire hit with the kids who matter most.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Weinstein on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure what the author was going for here, but aside from some great art and obvious merchandising opportunities, this is a truly awful book. The language ranges from contrived ("Jack and Dan charge [as in, approach] Cement Mixer Melvin") to confounding ("Hey, Max, help us smashing!" "Yeah, Max, help us crashing.").

The text occasionally suggests the intent to rhyme without paying off with an actual rhyme, and the author appears to have been unsure whether his two smash-crashing heroes are destructive or helpful. If anything, it appears to be a training manual for bullies.

Parents of daughters may find the representation of the sole female characters demeaning at best. And, as other reviewers have likely mentioned, the "story" is oddly disjointed and episodic.

A truly shallow and seemingly ad hoc effort, paid off only by our son's affection for trucks and cars in general. Avoid.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MeCT on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got this for my 2 year old nephew. He just loves it. Great illustrations and cute story. I would recommend it to anyone who has a little man who loves their trucks!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Geneva101 on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is astonishingly bad. Encourages bad manners, behavior that does not respect authority, bully type behavior. Art work is great. Story encourages children to be discourteous, run away when called, ignore requests of others. Don't waste your money here if you are trying to encourage your child to be well behaved and care for others. I would give it less than one star if possible!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Mitchell on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Just bought this book yeasterday for my 5 yr old and he's already in love with it. The animated cars and trucks look a lot like the Chevron Cars from the commercials so if you're little guy is big on those toys, this book will make a real nice companion and it's great to see there are more titiles to follow!! Great way to encourage reading and playtime together. I'm thinking about getting another one to give as a gift! It's really a cute book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Doralyn Rush on February 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have to say I love Scieszka's work. Until I read this book. My toddler loved it, of course. The thing is, every time I read it I had this horrible feeling. My problem is that these trucks aren't nice. They completely ignore requests to let others alone and, although sometimes it works out OK even though they smash and crash into everything, sometimes it doesn't and it comes across as just rude. I know it's a toddler book, but kids are very vulnerable. My son would yell Smash! Crash! and frankly, he does enough of that to his baby sister without his having a book that endorses it. I just couldn't get behind this message. I don't think it's OK to smash into people who ask you not to. As an adult, of course I don't take this literally, but kids take nearly everything that way. Thankfully, we only borrowed it from the library. But I did remove it from my son's wishlist.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Capital City Mom on January 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sure 2-year-old boys like the smash and crash theme and the art is very well done, but the message is horrible. For example, the boy trucks "charge Cement Mixer Melvin" saying it's time to smash and crash. He tells them he is busy but they do it anyway and leave Melvin in a big cement mess. They hear a voice and then run away. No saying they are sorry, no punishment for making a mess, and no one telling them to help clean up.

We talked about how this is mean, thinking it would be resolved in the end. Nope. They just get put to work smashing buildings. In other words, their bad behavior is finally put to good use, but so much for all the "people" and property they've left in their wake. Got this as a gift and want to give it away, though I'm not sure any kids should get this book with its poor message. There are plenty of truck books out there for little boys. Would not recommend it at all... can't believe so many parents on this site are!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Wade on May 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I cannot understand the good reviews of this book, other than to surmise that perhaps it's a case of the author asking his family and friends to review him favorably as a favor. The pictures are cute but the storytelling is AWFUL (i.e., there IS no story), and the characters have unimaginative names ("Gabriella Garbage Truck?" Please.). My two year old loved the pictures but I honestly cannot even bear to read him this book--I punted it to my husband and he came out of my son's room after bedtime asking me, "Who the h*ll bought us this? It's cr@p!" Even a picture book with no words would be better than this. You can't even follow the story, and what little discernible dialogue the characters DO have, it is used to send bad messages "I can't talk to you, I'm too busy" "I don't want to talk to her..." and someone calling for the juvenile characters and they go and hide. My husband suggested I "donate" it to my son's school, but I don't think ANY child should read this book, it's that bad. I won't even take it to the salvation army. It ended up in my paper recycling bin--eleven dollars of NOTHING. Don't waste your money. Worst children's book ever read, I simply cannot understand the good reviews.
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