(HarperCollins Children’s Books, July 12, 2016)
by Anika Denise
illustrated by Nate Wragg
Readers will delight in this lively read-aloud story with a clever and surprising twist at the end—perfect for Halloween and year round!
Ready, set, go! The monster truck race is on in this frightfully delightful picture book. On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan!
Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn’t quite who you think. Who will win the Monster Truck race?
★ “It’s a mash-up made in heaven (or maybe hell): ghoulish monsters and larger-than-life vehicles decked out with oversize tires, spikes, and menacing grins. After Denise (Baking Day at Grandma’s) gets introductions out of the way (“Frankentruck is first to arrive./ With a jump of his cables, He’s alive! He’s alive!”), the race is on. The competitors include Vampire Truck, Zombie Truck, and—what’s this?—“a little blue bus looking perky… and cute.” The VW-bus-style newcomer quickly makes short work of the larger, fiercer racers, and a kicker reveals that she’s more than just a pretty fascia. Wragg (Elwood Bigfoot: Friends Wanted!) creates some wicked vehicular hybrids—Ghost Truck fittingly evokes an old Rolls Royce Phantom—and eerie green skies and yellow moonlight set the stage for full-throttle Halloween fun.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“‘MONSTER TRUCKS REV! MONSTER TRUCKS GO!!!’ As a crowd of creepy creatures gathers to watch, five monster trucks—Frankentruck, Werewolf Truck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and Vampire Truck—prepare for a nighttime race. Suddenly, a ‘little blue bus” appears on the track ‘looking perky and cute.’ The larger, meaner trucks smell fresh meat, but after an exciting race, they;re left in her dust. The book goes beyond the simple underdog story, and the very end (‘But HOW did she do it?’) offers a clever Halloween-themed twist. In the energetic rhyming text, exclamation points are plentiful and the action never stops. Vivid colors and textures give the cartoony acrylic and digital illustrations a bold and lively (despite the undead) look.”
–The Horn Book