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Cover image for Three grumpy trucks
Three grumpy trucks
First edition.
New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 2018.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
"Three toy trucks don't want to stop scooping, grinding, and digging on the playground until they get so overtired that a child must take them home and tuck them into bed"-- Provided by publisher.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.1 0.5 196911.
Added Author:


Call Number
Things that Go Tarpley
JPT GO! Tarpley
JPT GO! Tarpley
JPT GO! Tarpley

On Order



Whirr! Whomp! Grind! Chomp! How long can three busy trucks keep it up before...MELTDOWN? Three toy trucks have big plans for their day at the playground: digging and lifting, building and shifting. But then they start to get tired...and hot...and hungry....They're GRUMPY! When they throw a total truck tantrum, will anyone be able to calm them down?

Kids (and parents) may just recognize themselves in this entertaining take on getting grouchy--and getting over it. The lighthearted, rhythmic text will have young readers chanting along, and the bright and buoyant illustrations of the trucks' looming meltdown will keep them giggling!

Author Notes

Todd Tarpley is the author of Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! , My Grandma's a Ninja , Ten Tiny Toes, and How About a Kiss for Me? He lives in New York City, and he invites you to visit him online at toddtarpley.com.

Guy Parker-Rees has illustrated numerous books for children, including the bestselling sensation Giraffes Can't Dance . He lives in Brighton, England, and he invites you to visit him online at guyparkerrees.com.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-The title page introduces a trio of construction toys zooming toward the playground on a scooter steered by a helmet-clad child. There they come to life with a "Whirr! Whomp! Grind! Chomp!" Hours later, when the child returns from playing with friends to announce that it's almost time to go, they take on the attitude of a recalcitrant toddler and refuse, begging for extra time. But as readers will surely notice, they are on the verge of melting down with "Hoses hissing, warnings beeping./Red lights flashing, fluids seeping./Fuses now about to blow." When the three grumpy trucks finally collapse into a dusty heap, the child takes off her construction hat, joins them in the mud, and soothes the dirty trio. At home, refueled, cleaned, and tucked in, they all fall asleep dreaming of their next big job. Tarpley uses rhythm and rhyme to cleverly show what happens when the trucks don't listen to their own gears and gauges, thus opening up the dialogue for families learning to do the same. Parker-Rees's colorful animated trucks have humorous toddler expressions, and his depiction of an awesome construction-themed bedroom for a girl is refreshing. VERDICT A fun addition to the crowded lot of busy vehicle books.-Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, Beavercreek, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Three toy trucks are having a marvelous time at the playground, giving their all to a build. "Hours later," they're clearly hot and tired, and their owner, a young girl, says it's time to go. In response, they delay ("Five more minutes! Let us stay! /Okay? Okay? OKAY?") and delay, then have a collective meltdown ("They made an awful screeching sound./ They banged their bumpers on the ground") and collapse into an exhausted, messy pile as children look on in dismay. Art may imitate life, but Tarpley (My Grandma's a Ninja) and Parker-Rees (Giraffes Can't Dance) aren't here to say "gotcha." They're sympathetic to the toys and their owner, and show that with patience (the girl never loses her temper) and unconditional love (she hugs the trucks, cleans them up, and puts them to bed), the trucks will live to dig another day. The bright multimedia illustrations contain just enough of a sketchbook looseness to feel composed on the spot, while the rhyming text has the authentic ring of both a real-life tantrum and pretend construction: "WHOMMMMPPPP!" Ages 4-8. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Heck hath no fury like a toy whose playtime has been interrupted.Tarpley offers up another misbehaving toy trio with a kid thrust into the role of parent (Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!, 2015). On a sunny day, a hard hat-clad child scooters to the playground, taking three toy trucks along. The trucks thoroughly enjoy whirring, grinding, chomping, and more. Three times their child guardian tells them they must leave, and two times they whine to stay longerpitching an all-out hissy fit the third. Soothed in her arms (in a surprise twist, the child's construction helmet is removed to reveal a ponytail and the narrative introduces the feminine pronoun), they calm down and are brought home to dream of digging adventures to come. Tarpley keeps the short and rhyming text perky with blessedly perfect scansion. And thanks to the positioning of child as parental figure, kids may find themselves sympathizing with both the temper-tantrum-ers and the temper-tantrum-ee. Pleasant, cartoonish art rendered in watercolors, pastels, and colored pencils give the book a mild jolt of pep.This surefire hit with construction fans happily bestows some much-needed sympathy on those caregivers wrangling with little "trucks" of their own. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.