Illustrated by Melissa Iwai, this book tells the story of a little boy and his family and their daily routine at the truck stop that they own. The little boy describes the variety of vehicles and drivers that visit their truck stop every day. This is a fun book for young truck lovers. Even more, it’s a book about community, family and hard work.
Before, During and After Reading
Study the illustration on the cover. Read the title of the book as you track under the words with your finger. Ask your child what kind of vehicle is on the cover of the book. Talk about how you sometimes see big trucks when you are riding in your car. The cover illustration has a lot of detail that you can discuss with your child. For example, you might:
- point out that the sign for the truck stop restaurant is in the shape of an eighteen-wheeler
- point to the words on the neon arrow as you read “Yes! We are open.”
- have your child wave to the semi driver
Point out words on signs. Throughout the story, there are numerous trucks and signs with logos and words on them. Point out the words or letters on the vehicles and signs. For example, on the first page of the story, you might point to and read the sign “Jim’s Diner”, and tell your child that Jim’s Diner is the name of the restaurant that this family owns. Point out the CLOSED sign on the door of the restaurant and talk about how the family is coming to open their restaurant. On the next page, bring your child’s attention to the little boy changing the sign to say OPEN. By pointing out the signs and the words on them, you help your child to understand that words carry messages and meaning, an important print awareness concept.
As you read each page, you might also point out the first letter of your child’s name when you come across it.
Introduce new vocabulary. You might go to a children’s dictionary to find simple definitions to share with your child. For example, the Merriam-Webster definition for “sizzle” is to make a hissing sound like the sound water makes when it hits hot metal. Model a hissing sound for sizzling and ask your child to imitate you. Another vocabulary example might be the word “whooshing.” The Merriam-Webster definition for whooshing is the sound made by something that is moving quickly. Make a “whooshing” sound and ask your child to imitate you.
Make a copy of the truck stop sign on the front cover. Enlarge the copy, if possible. Cut apart the main parts of the sign and lay them out on a table or on the floor and ask your child to put the puzzle back together. Use the illustration on the cover as a guide, if needed. Point out the letters in the puzzle.