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The Christmas Truck Paperback – Illustrated, September 11, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Jolly and comforting, and told in familiar rhyming prose, The Christmas Truck celebrates one of the greatest feelings of the holiday season: the joy of giving"- Barnes & Noble Book Blog's 10 Books for Kids Who Can't Sleep on Christmas Eve

"A Gem of a Holiday Book for all Daddy and Papa Families"

"There's much to like about the book: the bouncy rhymes, the bright illustrations, the showing of extended family, the message about the meaning of the holiday. As I've said before, LGBTQ-inclusive picture books have largely shown culturally and religiously neutral families... and we are left with the ongoing impression that religion and LGBTQ people are mutually exclusive. The Christmas Truck is a step forward to correct that."

"We've read The Christmas Truck no less than thirty-five times over the past month and it captures my family's attention and enthusiasm each time we read it! The brightly colored illustrations are lively and dazzling.  You can practically hear the jingling of sleigh bells and Frank Sinatra singing Winter Wonderland in the background.  The acrylic-like illustrations capture the story so well that the best of Christmas all but spills out of the book and into the room."

"LGBT Families Get A Holiday Tale Of Their Own With "The Christmas Truck"

"The Christmas Truck distinguishes itself through breathtaking illustrations that normalize gay families against the backdrop of iconic Christmas imagery. The illustrations of the two dad family decorating a Christmas tree, wrapping presents by a glowing fireplace, and discussing the meaning of Christmas with their child under the glow of the North Star will be the first time many gay families see their intimate holiday traditions visually represented."

From the Author

Excerpt from Connextions Magazine Interview:
Connextions Magazine recently caught up with world traveler J.B. Blankenship and author of The Christmas Truck. From our conversation, we can tell J.B. is a great storyteller, he has a passion for it and he also seems to have a deep rooted passion for teaching and of course, Connextions Magazine's favorite pastime - traveling.

Growing up in the mountains of Appalachia, he was bullied so much in school his parents made him transfer schools every year with the hope that the bullying would end. He came out at the age of 13. When he got his driver's license, he would often visit the regional airport and pretend that he was one of the travelers. Sitting in the small airport café, he wrote in his journal about all the places he dreamed of visiting, but never actually expected to see.

But J.B. did get to see those places and a whole lot more that he would never imagine. He sailed around the world while working for the Semester at Sea program and described getting lost on a mountain in rural Japan and having to be rescued by Buddhist monks. He spent summers on cross-country bicycle rides volunteering as a counselor for Decycles, an interfaith youth summer camp and his winters taking ice climbing classes where he climbed frozen waterfalls in Northern Wisconsin. As a live-in high school home-school teacher, he took his students backpacking around the world. As if by destiny, it was his journeys and adventures, which led J.B. to meet people around the world, which would later help with the translation of The Christmas Truck into Italian, Dutch and soon to be published in Spanish. 
One of his best friends, an Italian citizen who holds a Ph.D. in economics, translated the book into Italian while on a flight to Rome because "he wanted to share the story with his nieces and nephews." The Dutch version came to be because Blankenship was visiting a remote macaw research center in the Amazon rainforest of Peru with a group of friends. To pass the time on the 8 hour boat ride up the Tambopata River, his Belgian friends translated the book into Dutch. 

Although not yet a parent, J.B. has served as a parent figure and mentor to many children and homeless youth, teaching them, nurturing them, helping them find stable living situations and navigating the college admissions process. Currently, he spends his free time volunteering with SitStayRead, a Chicago based literacy organization that brings therapy dogs into struggling public elementary schools. Kids read stories to the dogs about dogs and then write their own stories. "Every week I get to help these awesome kids create their own stories that reflect their world. And I get to play with dogs. It's pretty amazing!" he exclaims. 

The Christmas Truck includes some of J.B.'s holidays' traditions, like oyster stew, which plays a splashing role in the book, and although he claims he is not a fan of oyster stew, it was always served on Christmas Eve. The tradition of fulfilling the wish list of a needy child is something he started with his partner. The story follows Papa, Dad and their kid, alongside the retired Fire Chief Grandma and how they are able to save Christmas for a family in need. It teaches us that even when things don't go your way, the spirit of the holiday season allows magical moments and adventures.  

Product details

  • Grade Level : Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
  • Paperback : 46 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0990743403
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0990743408
  • Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.11 x 8.5 inches
  • Publisher : NarraGarden LLC; Illustrated Edition (September 11, 2014)
  • Reading level : 4 - 8 years
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
52 global ratings
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2014
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David E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have kids Christmas book
Reviewed in Canada on January 13, 2018
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