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Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street Hardcover – June 11, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-This counting book presents a traffic tie-up of the proportion that will delight young children, especially those with a passion for trucks. A broken-down ice-cream truck is all it takes to bring the action to a standstill. Each page features one type of vehicle in all its glory, and there's even an aerial view that shows the entire neighborhood immobilized by the jam. Bold digital illustrations are crisp and sufficiently detailed to please those who have already acquired some knowledge of the topic. The use of concentrated color and minimal white space will also appeal to young listeners, who will identify with the young hero who gets everyone out of the mess. His idea is to use the crane to lift all the other vehicles and send them on their way. Of course, the disabled ice-cream truck will have to remain-a perfect reward. Counting books in verse are plentiful, but this one stands out. The words roll off the tongue, a good thing, as children will demand to hear it again and again.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The truck picture-book genre ratchets up a notch with the glorious depiction of, count ’em, 20 tantalizingly colored and deliciously varied trucks, jammed on the narrow, twisting streets of a city neighborhood. A helmet-clad young bicyclist takes it all in as an ice-cream truck stalls and the 19 others are caught behind it. The majority are delivery trucks carrying a pleasingly odd assortment of cargo, but there is also a double-page-filling crane, a cement mixer, and plenty of others to provide a satisfying diversity. The bright colors of the trucks and the way their towering forms dominate the pages heighten the book’s giddy appeal. Not just a counting book, the rhyming text artfully tells a story, which climaxes when the clever young observer suggests a nifty way to get the trucks rolling again: “The crane lifts the ice-cream truck up slow. / Now all the other trucks can go!” Good for storytimes and one-on-one sharing, this should delight even the most jaded of truck-book aficionados. Preschool-Grade 2. --Randall Enos
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076365809X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658090
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ironically, more children's counting books have been published than I can count. Any new counting book needs an original concept, or at least the things being counted should have a high appeal. Mark Lee should find an eager audience among boys for his book about trucks.

Told in rhyme, Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street starts out with the ever-popular and familiar ice-cream truck "selling everything sweet". Alas, the truck breaks down, blocking the middle of the street. Next up is a mail truck, which soon finds itself stuck because of the broken-down ice-cream truck. Third is a truck carrying hay, which gets stopped in its tracks by the two stuck trucks ahead of it. One by one, a yellow-helmeted boy on a red bike counts the trucks which roll up his street only to find themselves stuck, until there are twenty trucks blocking the road. For a counting book, Lee has created an entertaining story whose ultimate solution belongs to the boy and not the adults.

Illustrator Kurt Cyrus uses a bright color palette with high visual appeal. The twenty big trucks, depicted from a variety of perspectives, dominate the pages. Sometimes a sole truck appears on a page, other times multiple trucks, and sometimes a spread depicts all twenty trucks. Boys will love identifying all the different trucks. Secondary to the trucks are the people, who include a range of body shapes and ethnicities. Cyrus rightly makes the young yellow-helmeted boy on his red bike the only constant presence.

Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street brought back fond memories for me of the days when my young brother would clap his hands excitedly whenever he saw a truck. As an elementary school resource teacher, the majority of my students are boys.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street had an excellent review in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

I love giving books to young readers and this book is a joy to share. The story, the pictures, the feel of the book -- my Father, Nephew, Grandnephew and friends who are new Parent's loved it. I even gave a copy to my friend who is a Pediatrician, for his office.

This is a book to make the Boys (and Girls) in your life smile.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my five-year-old grandson who has a love for all things concerning trucks. We both love this book! The story is engaging so I do not mind the repeated readings my grandson requests. The illustrations are delightful and depict the story well. Children pay attention to the details in pictures and often these do not match the stories-not with this book! I plan to purchase this book again for my other grandsons.
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Format: Hardcover
“Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street” written by Mark Lee and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus is an entertaining picture book written in rhymes that teaches children to count and show them that the age is not most important to be wise because even the youngest can sometimes have the best ideas.

The story starts when popular ice-cream truck that sells everything sweet will break down and block the middle of street. Right behind it a mail truck will stop and soon the third will come that carries hay, all stopping because the middle of the street is blocked.
Then reader will meet a yellow-helmeted boy on a red bike that will slowly count one by one truck, until the twentieth, all of which got stuck in traffic due to a broken ice cream truck. And although no one will expect it, this smart boy in the end will help adults and find a solution to this problem…

“Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street” is nicely designed children book that carries a great lesson while its rhythm and rhyme makes it extremely catchy so children without effort will be able to learn it by heart.
Especially beautiful are book illustrations where Kurt Cyrus used bright colors which have high visual appeal showing twenty trucks, big and small, from different perspectives, over the whole page. Although the book title might suggest that the illustrations could be similar or uniform, the illustrator has skillfully avoided that trap using, besides above-mentioned different perspectives, different size and number of trucks on different pages – sometimes one or few, or all twenty of them in bird's eye view.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If your child loves trucks, this is a fantastic book! While the story is cute, the illustrations make the book. You could spend quite some time just looking at and pointing out all of the details on each page! Like the people on top of the buildings, or the truck drivers and bystanders. It is good for learning counting to 20! I also like the fact that all of the kids on bicycles wear helmets :)

Our son is 2 and he really likes this book. While this is not my favorite book to read as a parent (as far as the story goes), the illustrations in this book are probably some of my favorites! Ice cream trucks, mail trucks, garbage trucks, cranes, delivery trucks, trucks carrying pigs....this book has them all!
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