Friday, February 7, 2014

20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street

20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street
Written by Mark Lee and Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
(Candlewick, 2013, Fiction)
Suitable for ages: 3-7

Opening:  "One ice-cream truck selling everything sweet breaks down and blocks the middle of our street."

Brief Synopsis:  An ice cream truck breaks down and causes a pile-up of twenty trucks, ranging from a crane truck to a delivery truck to a mail truck.  None of them are going to go anywhere until the ice cream truck is taken care of.  While onlookers try to think of a way to fix the problem, a little boy on a bike speaks up and offers the solution that works and breaks up the traffic jam.

Why I Like This Book:  This book is written in perfect rhyme that flows incredibly well.  It is a counting book that presents 20 trucks in detailed and bright illustrations.  At the end of the story, the crane picks up the broken-down ice cream truck and places it on the grass by the side of the road where serves ice cream to the neighborhood.  This book is fun to read, provides great counting practice, and is beautifully illustrated, making it one that is read over and over again.

It is necessary to eat some ice cream after reading a book about an ice cream truck, so we made homemade ice cream in a bag.

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag
(Recipe Source:
Find the original recipe here.
1/2 cup half-and-half 
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 sandwich Ziploc bag
1 gallon freezer Ziploc bag
3 cups crushed ice
1/3 cup rock salt

Put half-and-half (or cream or milk in a pinch), sugar, and vanilla in the smaller Ziploc bag and mix well.   Seal tightly.  Put ice and rock salt in the larger bag, making sure the salt is evenly distributed.  Add the small bag of ingredients to the large bag and surround it with ice.  Seal the large bag and wrap with a dish towel (the bag will get very cold and hard to hold!).  Shake the bag for 10-15 minutes.  Pull out the small bag, and enjoy!

*Please note that this recipe is pretty basic and you can experiment with different flavors.  The best part about this recipe is the magic of making ice cream.  Kids love it!


  1. Never enough truck books. This sounds very unique and requires some teamwork.The ending reminds me of "King Bidgood's in the Bath Tub" and a child comes up with the simple solution. Great cover and story.

  2. This looks like a cute story - and we definitely need lots of truck stories for kids!

  3. Our grandson (who loves truck) will definitely be getting this one for his BD in April. It's already on my wish list. Thanks for sharing this one, Emily!