Friday, July 12, 2019

Review - Dylan the Dump Truck

Dylan the Dump Truck (Whizzy Wheels Academy)
by Peter Bently
illustrated by Sébastien Chebret
Date: 2019
Publisher: QEB Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 22
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Meet Dylan the dump truck—Whizzy Wheels Academy's latest recruit! Follow him as he learns all about his role as a construction vehicle and what his job entails. This sweet story explores Dylan's journey of discovery as he learns all about himself and his capabilities. Join Dylan as he overcomes a challenge and learns a valuable lesson in this delightful picture book, part of a fun new board book series for vehicle-mad preschoolers.

With colourful illustrations and an engaging story on a favourite topic, this board book inspires a deeper knowledge of the world, encourages creativity and imagination, and supports emotional intelligence.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

While this book will probably appeal to small children who love books about trucks and heavy machinery, it might not find as many fans among their parents. The message is a bit confusing, and having sentient machines as characters doesn't really help.

The back matter states:

Dylan is a good dump truck, but he gets distracted easily! When an accident happens on the building site, will he be able to focus saving the day?

Now, aside from the grammatical mess that is the second sentence, the problem is that there's no accident. Dylan averts an accident because he's suddenly paying attention. Why he couldn't pay attention before--which leaves him distracted by airplanes in the sky and cats in trees--isn't really explained. Maybe it's just that he's young and easily distracted... but that calls into question why he's allowed to do what he does. There's a reason we don't let toddlers run excavators on building sites.

The writing wasn't bad until the last page, when one character smiled their words. (Why, authors? Why do you do this to us?!)

The illustrations will likely appeal to kids, but I'm not a fan of the slightly mottled tones. I also don't really like the vapid facial expressions on the characters' faces; unless they have eyebrows in a particular scene, they look a little zoned out.

I'm definitely not the audience for this one, and while I suppose young children might like this story about a distracted dump truck, I'm not sure that the overall message is clear enough. Or maybe it just happens too quick; with so few pages, though, it's difficult to really flesh out a decent story.

Thank you to NetGalley and QEB Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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