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Five Trucks (Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)) Hardcover – June 10, 2014

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Five Trucks (Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)) + Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481405934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481405935
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—With the sparest of texts, this book features airport vehicles rarely seen in preschool books as well as the trucks' diverse drivers (men and women of various ethnicities). Unlike most counting books, the story introduces ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.) rather than cardinals (one, two, three). On the second appearance of each truck, the text counts back from the fifth to the first truck, adding another concept covered in the book. It's when viewers see each truck for the second time that it is identified by name, e.g., catering truck, baggage conveyor, etc., in a different font, giving the feel of an informational book for young audiences. A wordless subplot about a boy with his dad and a colorful plaid suitcase starts on the title page. The suitcase is easily identifiable as it's loaded onto the plane. The story culminates with the boy waving to the drivers from his airplane seat. While the crisp, clear illustrations, rendered in watercolor, ink, and gouache, are uncluttered, there is much to talk about in the pictures. Whether shared with vehicle-loving youngsters or general audiences, this book should satisfy many listeners/viewers with its rich content and engaging art.—Maralita L. Freeny, District of Columbia Public Library

From Booklist

Add this title to your short list of Favorites for Truck Lovers. The book begins with a title-page illustration of a boy and a man struggling with a heavy suitcase; the scene shifts to five drivers walking toward their trucks. As the simple story unfolds, a series of five double-page spreads shows each driver at the wheel of his own special vehicle. One truck is large and heavy, another long and straight, but they are all headed in the same direction. The next series of spreads shows each truck in action: food is unloaded from the catering truck, luggage is unloaded from the baggage carts pulled by the tractor, luggage travels up the baggage conveyor, and so on, until the final image shows the drivers waving to an airplane as it climbs in the skies. Children who have never pressed their noses to an airport window may not recognize the setting, but others will have a chance to remember what airport trucks look like and learn what they do. If picture books about trucks are so easy to do, why do we see so many poor ones and so few as good as this? Floca offers a book that's simple enough for a two-year-old (prime age for the young truck enthusiast), without being boring or simple-minded. The artwork, ink line with watercolor washes, uses every spread to good advantage, showing the camaraderie of the drivers, and even the time of day, as clearly and subtly as the functions of the trucks. A pleasing picture book to read and (get ready, parents) reread. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

As soon as it was unwrapped, he wanted to read it.
Fun book about airport trucks, which my nephews loved.
Natasha Riedel
This book is thoughtfully structured and illustrated.
C. Skeen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Laundry on April 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
My son has just turned two years old, and has recently been evaluated by Early Intervention for a possible speech delay. I checked this book out of the library since he is a real boys boy and loves CARS and trucks. Before this book however he had never said the word TRUCK, but now he says Truck (well....."Kuck" really) and it has become a favorite book of his. We have gotten him his own copy to cherish (it goes everywhere with...except the tub!) It was such a joy to hear him start to use new words and am crediting this book and Mr. Floca for inspiring him. I enjoy this book myself, it is a treat to have a book about trucks in which the illustrations are these lovely watercolor pictures as opposed to the more harsh illustrations usually in truck books. I have just one son but suspect that this book would be enjoyed by girls as well as boys and I really appreciate the fact that two of the five drivers are women!! THANK YOU MR. FLOCA!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I shared this book with a young friend, to watch his reaction as the story unfolds. It's supurb! The opening spread of a man and a boy hauling a heavy suitcase provided the first clue to what the "five drivers for five trucks" did every day. The drivers' teamwork, their varied genders and ethnicity, and the care taken in getting the airplane serviced and ready to fly are all well illustrated. Youngsters who have flown or visited airports will especially enjoy this book, and it would be a great addition to carry-on baggage for parents of younger children.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Skeen on June 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is thoughtfully structured and illustrated. It is light on text but it unfolds a story nevertheless (and parents and children can add their own words and observations). Unlike some airport-themed books, it strives for recognizable accuracy. The illustrations are simple but not simplistic and cartoonish. If your child is a real truck connoisseur like mine, you will appreciate that the trucks themselves are faithfully represented and labeled, and their drivers look like real people (complete with their morning coffee and donuts).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on August 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Brian Floca brings a new view of the workings of an airport by focusing on five trucks that play a role in preparing a passenger plane for takeoff. The catering truck, tractor with baggage carts, baggage conveyor, tractor, and push-out tractor are introduced first by the kind of movement they perform, then given their names and depicted carrying out their job.

The illustrations are really the appeal of this book. Floca's drawings are characterized by simple lines, but they have more detail than Byron Barton's and show a little more movement. The realistic touches show an observant artist's eye: the crushed package marked "fragile," the workers' Dunkin' Donuts wrappers and cups, an envelope trapped under the wheel of the mail truck, the keys jingling in the caterer's hand -- these all contribute to a feeling of actually being behind the scenes at the airport.

The text is spare, with a rhythm and symmetry that will appeal to a preverbal audience while providing information for older listeners. The only thing that could have made the book better would have been if the names of the vehicles were incorporated in the main text, rather than appearing as labels in smaller text at the bottom of the page (stopping to read the labels interrupts the flow of the book). Still, this is a good choice for prereaders and younger readers.
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Format: Hardcover
‘Five Trucks’ written and illustrated by Brian Floca, the author of well-known ‘Locomotive’ with which he won Caldecott Medal this year, is children book that provides new perspective about the vehicles that are used on an airport, especially on the five trucks that are required to prepare plane for takeoff.

These special five – push out tractor, tractor with baggage carts, baggage conveyor, tractor for the mechanic and catering truck – are one by one introduced and their functions are described. Additionally, besides providing opportunity for reader to learn about the airport infrastructure, author nicely interweaves two stories – first in which young boy is going on a trip with his father, and the other, romantic story between the operator on push out tractor and the mechanic.

There is not too much text on book pages, actually only one sentence in large print on each spread what makes the book ideal for reading young children who will not lose attention.

Expectedly, where the book excels is its artwork – Floca’s illustrations made in ink and watercolor technique beautifully conveys the bustle that is present at the airport and movement of workers who must work quickly to make their work on time. Also, many small details, some of them funny, are present in the pictures, so the children even after several readings will be able to discover something new.

Overall, ‘Five Trucks’ in theme very similar to ‘Locomotive’ can be recommended just as much for kids older than 3 years who beside learning about the vehicles at the airport and the jobs that are needed to be performed for each plane to took off on time, will enjoy the beautiful detailed illustrations that make the book both beautiful to look at and read.
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More About the Author

Brian Floca's picture books include "Locomotive," winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, and a New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2013 selection; "Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11," also a Sibert Honor Book and New York Times Best Illustrated Book; "Lightship," a Sibert Honor Book; and "The Racecar Alphabet" and "Five Trucks." Brian is also the illustrator of Avi's popular Poppy Stories, Kate Messner's three Marty McGuire novels, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's "Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring" -- a Sibert Honor Book and winner of the Orbis Pictus Award -- and Lynne Cox's just published "Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas." You can visit him online at

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