Most 4 year old boys love things that go, and my 4 year old boy is no different. While ordering him a Stinky the Garbage Truck on Amazon.com for Christmas, I Stink! was one of the suggested books. Figuring nothing goes better with a toy garbage truck than a book about garbage trucks, I went ahead and added it to my order. Since then, I Stink! has been at the top of the book rotation. Kate McMullan came up with the idea for I Stink! when she was woken up by a New York City garbage truck at 6am 3 times a week. The descriptions of how garbage trucks work – picking up the trash, crushing it, then depositing it onto a barge – were provided firsthand by the sanitation workers who were responsible for waking McMullan up. The illustrations were done by McMullan’s artist husband and he did a great job of bringing the truck to life, also giving each page the feel of those pre-dawn moments when the trucks are busy at work. The voice given to the truck is just how you’d imagine one talking – loud, gruff and a bit obnoxious: “Did I wake you? Too bad!” The truck is smelly and loud, and quite proud of it. Construction and transportation vehicles have had scores of books written about them so it’s nice to see an unsung hero get some love.
Coincidentally, a Scholastic Book order I placed in December included a similar book, I’m Your Bus, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Evan Polenghi. Like the garbage truck in I Stink!, the reader follows the school bus as it goes about its day: bringing kids to school, on field trips, then back home, before resting for the night in the bus lot. I’m Your Bus has a brighter, happier feel to it; similar to the garbage truck the bus loves its job but it’s more gentle about how it tells its story. If your child is like mine and yells “BUS!” every time it sees a bus, then this book is a perfect fit.
Nancy is learning a lot about trucks thanks to her truck-loving boys. She writes about her 2 boys and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys