"Where's My Truck"

We all misplace things, kids and adults. What can we do but laugh at ourselves? The February Baby Buzz Pick, chosen by parent educators with the Washington School District, gives us a chance to do just that. “Where’s My T.R.U.C.K.?” by Karen Beaumont is pure fun for all ages.

The picture book joins an ever-growing list of Baby Buzz Picks chosen by the parent educators. The group selects one book each month for youngsters birth to age seven.

A review of the Baby Buzz Pick appears in the second weekend issue of The Missourian. Additional copies of the Baby Buzz Picks are purchased by the parent educators and used in their visits with parents and children.

The following review was written by Nancy Nagel, area literacy advocate.

“A family is turned upside down and inside out when a young boy cannot find his favorite red toy truck. Older brother and sister try to distract him with their own versions of fun; Mom tries to make it better, and Dad just shrugs and walks away.

“All is well in the end as Bowser the dog retrieves the missing truck from the hole where he has buried it.

“Strong rhyming text tells the story of the young boy’s search. ‘I go outside. Where could it be? Is it underneath the tree? In the sandbox? By the shed? Maybe in the flower bed?”

“The illustrations in this book support the frenzied feelings that accompany a child looking for a lost favorite toy. The pencil and watercolor drawings use jagged, wiggly lines to support the text. The characters all look flushed and harried.

“Children develop their socio-emotional skills just like their motor and language skills. They need gentle support from adults and practice in using the skills. When a child gets angry over a lost toy, parents may support their development by suggesting concrete ways to find the toy. Showing empathy with the child can take the pressure out of the situation.

“Older children will commiserate with the little boy in this book. You might start a conversation by asking, ‘Do you remember when you lost your favorite toy?” This book provides a great platform for talking about feelings of frustration, anger and disappointment.

“You could also point out how the family members all try to help in their own way. Perseverance pays off as the character finally finds his toy truck. You could talk about how happy he feels and ask your child to share times that he has felt the same way.

“A fun activity to extend this story would be to make a list of your child’s five favorite toys. Ask her what she likes to do with them and why they are her favorites. Put the date on the list, save it and return to it in six months to see how your child’s toys have changed with her.

Other Parent Educator favorites this month are “Peep and Ducky” by David Martin, “Ready or Not, Here Comes Scout!” by Jill Abramson and Jane O’Connor, and “This is Not My Hat,” by Jon Klassen.