Review by Booklist Review
Carter wanted a puppy. He got a truck. Thus begins Pinkney's tale of a boy who may not have been given exactly what he desired, but certainly makes the most of what he received. Without skipping a beat and using his vivid imagination, the brown-skinned child simply puts a leash on his truck and takes it for a walk in the park. The red-and-yellow vehicle takes on puppy-like behavior, chasing the teasing squirrel that appears on both front and back endpapers and even emitting noises such as Vroom beep bark! The two companions play, bathe, eat, and sleep together, cementing their bond. The artwork, resembling sketches with its free-flowing figures outlined in india ink, are loosely filled in using bright, cheerful acrylics. The fluid style adds to the action and the off-white backgrounds allow the figures to stand out. An encounter with another child who has an equally intense imagination opens the possibility of more adventures for Carter and his new best friend.--Maryann Owen Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
When Carter receives a red and yellow toy truck instead of the puppy he wants, he doesn't throw a fit. Instead, "he pet it and put a leash around it," writes Pinkey (Hip-Hop Lollipop), and magically, the truck responds just like a rambunctious pup, with bright eyes and a shiny black nose. "Vroom beep bark!" says the truck, and the two are off, running toward a wonderful day in the park, where they make a friend and romp in the sandbox; back at home, they enjoy a soapy bath in a big purple tub and a bedtime cuddle. Pinkney's swooping, ribbonlike ink lines and splashes of bright color pop off the cream-colored pages. Detailing is minimal and evocative, with a few swift black lines conveying a gentle hill, and cloudlike green scribbles evoking the park's foliage. Brown-skinned Carter has a lean dancer's body, and he moves around the page with an energized grace and a look of pure contentment. There's no huge dramatic arc or epiphany here, and no grown-up supervision or mediation-just a joyful celebration of imagination at play. Ages 5-8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS--Carter wants a puppy, but when he receives a truck instead he doesn't let it stop him for a moment. He grabs a leash and with a playful, "Vroom beep bark!" they're off to the park to chase squirrels, race down hills, and play in the mud. Carter's imaginative view of the world is even shared when he makes a friend who then discovers their own ability to transform their world. Pinkney returns to an artistic style similar to On The Ball with simple, colorful, and energetic illustrations. The two young characters in this story (Carter and a girl he meets at the park) both have brown skin and curly black hair. Thick swirling lines and color move the children and Puppy Truck across the pages on their adventure. The text is placed in large, bold font and is both simple and repetitive, perfect for beginning readers. Full of onomatopoeic lines, this would be an excellent storytime read for an audience that loves trucks or puppies, or hopefully both. VERDICT A first purchase that is sure to please.--Laken Hottle, Providence Community Library
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Review by Horn Book Review
Whats a kid to do when he wants a puppy but receives a toy truck instead? Carter cheerfully and enterprisingly makes the best of it by pretending (or is he?) that the truck is a puppy. He begins by taking his toy on a walk to the park. Once there, though, the truck gets off leash and chases a squirrel (vroom beep bark!). Carter has a moment of anxiety when he loses sight of his pet, but a girl on a park bench points out the mischievous machine hiding behind a bush. It turns out she has her own toy vehicle (vroom beep meow!), and the next day, the four return to the park to play. Vibrant, saturated tones and swirling shapes, only semi-contained by thick black outlines, reflect the protagonist in motion and highlight the warmth and comfort of his (grownup-free) imaginary play. Creamy off-white pages set the mood, and little-to-no background detail keeps the focus on activity and emotion. The sound effects interspersed throughout the straightforward main text provide lots of opportunities July/Aug p.114(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A lively imagination is a beautiful thing."Carter wanted a puppy. / He got a truck." So begins this whimsical tale of a little round-faced, brown-skinned, curly-haired boy who doesn't linger over what he lacks but makes the very best of what he does have. This toy truck with a bright red cab and a yellow cargo bed becomes his constant companion. Carter pets Puppy Truck, attaches a leash to it, and takes it to the park, where it chases squirrels and exclaims, "Vroom beep bark!"a frequent vocalization. Carter meets a little girl, whose brown skin is a little lighter than his own, sitting on a park bench; she admires Puppy Truck so much that she gets an idea of her own that surfaces at the end of the story. Pinkney brings this story to life with a pale-yellow background for the acrylic and India ink illustrations, in which the swift movements of the boy, Puppy Truck, and the squirrel are ever apparent. Since this story has so few words, preschool readers will easily be able to tell it on their own after a few times of hearing it read aloud. An important mirror book for the youngest of black and brown readers, this lighthearted story will likely be a favorite for storytimeespecially with little ones who love things that go VROOM! (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.