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Melvin Might? Hardcover – Oct 28 2008

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Giraffes Can't Dance

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Oct. 28 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416941347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416941347
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 1 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #436,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jon Scieszka is the creator of Trucktown, including the New York Times bestselling Smash, Crash!, and the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man, and many other books that inspire kids to want to read. He has worked as an elementary school teacher and is the founder of, a literacy initiative for boys.

David Shannon has written and illustrated numerous award winning picture books including Duck on a Bike, the Caldecott Honor Book No David!, How I Learned to be a Pirate, and Good Boy Fergus. He is also one of the collaborative illustrators in Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series.  David lives with his wife and his daughter in Los Angeles.

David Gordon is the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed The Ugly Truckling and The Three Little Riggs. His first book for Simon & Schuster was the adorable Smitten. He has done concept work for Pixar’s Toy Story; Toy Story 2; A Bug’s Life; Monsters, Inc.; and Cars; as well as Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. He also did character design work on Blue Sky’s Robots. He lives in New York City. Visit him at

Loren Long illustrated President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing; the newest version of The Little Engine that Could; Madonna’s second picture book, Mr. Peabody’s Apples; Nightsong by Ari Berk; and the Barnstormers series. He also illustrated Frank McCourt’s Angela and the Baby Jesus and is part of the Design Garage for Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series. Loren’s work has appeared in Time, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. He lives with his wife and two sons in Westchester, Ohio. Visit him at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 38 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Exciting and Colorful book! Oct. 21 2008
By Aletheia - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
My kids like the book so much that they want another book from the series called, "trucktown"! The book is indeed a joy to read (in kid's perspective).

1. The illustrations are superbly done. Colorful and vivid. Expressions of the cars are nicely done.
2. The story is about Melvin (Cement Mixer truck) who worries. Basically he worries about everything -- perhaps just like an insecure child. But to help his friend who is in trouble (Rescue Rita), he overcomes his fear and worry. The point of the story can really teach a child to learn about helping others in need despite his/her fears and worries.
3. The book is not long (only 44 pages) and filled with colorful illustrations.
4. The book is stitched (Smyth-sewn) and not glued and therefore it will last a long time.
5. Pages are strong and 2/3 way end of the book, there is a fold-out pages that excites the kids (my kids said, "oh, cool!").
6. Inside the cover, there are characters of the series that also appear in other books. In this book, several characters do not appear, however.

Overall, it is an excellent book for kids to learn about overcoming one's fears and worries to help others. Very nice, indeed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Best Trucktown Book Yet Oct. 22 2008
By Aaron Silverman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Trucktown series, with its slightly creepy character designs and simple, edgy (by preschooler standards) stories, isn't for everyone. My truck-obsessed son and I have thumbed through a couple of the books, but none of them especially caught his eye. That is, until now. Melvin Might, with its more traditional tale of a character overcoming habitual fear to become a hero, has quickly earned a prime spot in the bedtime story rotation.

The plot, while still well within a 3-year-old's attention span, is a bit more involved than the other Trucktown books we've looked at, which seem to focus mostly on smashing things and getting into mischief. Sure, there's mischief involved here, but it's used to set up a positive message that being worried or scared doesn't mean one shouldn't try. The colorful illustrations are active and appealing, and are enhanced by a couple of trick pages: one that's turned sideways and a double foldout. They add just a touch of flavor without being distracting.

My advice: bring your child to the store, or to the Trucktown website, and see if he or she likes the eccentric character designs. If so, then Melvin Might is definitely a good introduction to the series. Just be aware going forward that the books vary somewhat in tone and style, so try before you buy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Neurotic cement mixer becomes "the little engine that could." Oct. 29 2008
By slim - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Story line is pretty much summed up in the title of my review. What makes this book different from other children's books? A whole host of fun "large equipment" characters that make up the series. There is also a very nice full-color fold out (centerfold) part that is done very well. Boys as well as girls will enjoy these story books as they aren't "too scary" nor are they "too tame." It also only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to read, so it's a great bed-time story book.

Having few phrases on each page makes it suitable for impatient, little ones who aren't old enough to read yet. Also plenty of repetitive phrases to help them learn reading patterns. Paper, color and illustrations are high quality. Naming of characters employed alliteration for extra fun.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
what does this teach a kid? April 6 2009
By shopper8424 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
On the positive side, this book is unique in its style, fun to read, and the pictures are vibrant. Also, my vehicle-loving son can't get enough of it. sends a weird message. If you are the type of parent that is very aware of what message is sent to your children you may want to read this book before buying it. But if you are more laid back and not as sensitive to all of that and/or don't believe in it all then disregard this.

to those other parents, that are like me, here's the basic problem:
Melvin's a worry wart. the book plays it up in a way that he worries too much. But due to his worrying, he hesitates to basically follow the other trucks and essentially "jump off a bridge". So indirectly it promotes being a worry wart. Another truck that just follows along, "Me too!, nearly gets hurt but then Melvin overcomes his worrying to save that truck. Which sends a good message that if you "try to do it" you "can do it", and he steps up and saves his friend. After that both friends decide that even though they survived they are going to choose to "worry". I just don't get it. Cute, but if you think about it, it really sends a negative message---It's good not to follow kids off a bridge, but doing so makes you a major worry wart. hmmmm.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Maybe, I can... Oct. 22 2008
By Deltareviewer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Melvin follows the anthem of "I can't". He doesn't have the confidence to do the things that the other trucks (Pete, Jack and Rita) try. They are motoring around and come across a broken bridge. Pete, Jack and Rita put the petal to the metal and forge ahead in a somewhat reckless manner. Melvin continues the mantra of "I can't" until Rita gets stuck and needs help. Still not sure if he can, Melvin soars ahead to rescue Rita.

Melvin Might? reminds me of the little fire engine that repeated "I think I can". But Melvin really never overcomes his negative outlook even after he saves Rita. However, after reading the story to a class of inner city 2nd grade boys they all thought Melvin was a hard worker that went all out to help his friend. They loved the cartoon look of the trucks. The two accordion pages really sparked their interest but I can see them tearing easily with the rough handling of children (especially boys). One of the boys commented that the trucks look like the ones in the movie "Cars" specifically "Tow-mater". I definitely recommend this book for parents, teachers and libraries that cater to boys.