Scoop the Ice Cream Truck by Patricia Keeler (Sky Pony Press, $16.99, 32 pages)
Scoop the Ice Cream Truck is a fine, entertaining message book for children aged 3 to 6. It tells the story of Scoop, a failure as an aging ice cream truck who attempts to remake himself into something he is not. Scoop’s reinvention sadly results in a different type of failure.
The takeaway message for very young readers is that it’s perfectly OK to be what and who you are. You don’t have to change yourself to be like other people in order to be popular or to “fit in.” Being yourself and wanting the things you want will ultimately lead to happiness and fulfillment.
The illustrations by Patricia Keller are charming and her artwork has a uniquely individual style that assists in bringing home the small book’s message. My granddaughter loves this book for a simple reason: Unlike many children’s books, the storyline is not predictable. In fact, this mature reader found the ending of Scoop to be totally unexpected.
Keeler does not patronize the intelligence of young readers; instead she trusts them to stretch their minds a bit. It works. I believe the book would be wholly appropriate for children up to the age of 8.
A review copy was received from the publisher.