friday feast: cruisin’ along with alphabet trucks by samantha r. vamos and ryan o’rourke

#48 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet


Look what just zoomed in — a spiffy convoy of hardworking trucks all featured in a brand new picture book by Samantha R. Vamos and Ryan O’Rourke!

Start the engines.
Lift and load.
Shift the gears and
hit the road.

Vroom! Rumble! Zoom!
Alphabet Trucks.


Maybe you’re already wondering: could there actually be a different kind of truck for each letter of the alphabet? What about Q, V,Β  X, and Z? We all know how much they love to cause trouble.

Relax. Clever Samantha has got those rascals covered, and along with the familiar pickup truck, tow truck, and cement mixer, she throws in quite a few less commonly known vehicles to keep things interesting: knuckle-boom truck, lowboy, winch truck.

A is for apple truck,
carting produce to the store.

B is for box truck,
with a rolling rear door.

They’re all described in jaunty rhyming couplets that explain each truck’s job, while O’Rourke’s crackerjack retro-style illustrations show the trucks in action, two per double page spread. Young readers will enjoy studying each scene, especially because the upper and lower case letters take on a life of their own — sitting in apple trees, bouncing along the street, being picked up by a crane or carried by movers one by one.


True alphabet lovers know that letters are alive and have distinct personalities. When so winsomely hand drawn, they easily become characters in the drama along with the trucks. I like the powerful ore truck with its heavy load of copper-colored O’s, the big E being lifted by the elevator truck, the stately L’s lined up on the lowboy truck. And those Ms sliding down the mixer truck’s chute? Adorable! Needless to say, the I-shaped ice cream cones are triple yum.

Oh, you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out about our tricky truck friends Q, V, X and Z. πŸ™‚


This lighthearted celebration of alphabetical trucks, packed with fun opportunities for letter recognition, vocabulary building, creative storytelling, and seriously ramping up one’s truck savvy, will fuel enthusiasm for land vehicles that haul, lift, grab, move, mix, dump, plow, tow, and vacuum. Great way to keep young motors hum hum humming while learning their ABCs.


The ice cream truck had me craving some real edibles on wheels. Why not double your pleasure with a few truck cookies and cakes, not to mention a truck made of chocolate or one carrying sushi?Β  Best way to roll! πŸ™‚

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(click images for more info)

Garbage Truck cookies


Tow Truck cookies
1950’s Moving Truck cake


Dump truck cookies
Semi Truck cookies


Dump Truck Cake
Candy Truck cookies


Fire Truck cookie


Pickup Truck cake
Dump Truck cake

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written by Samantha R. Vamos
illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
published by Charlesbridge, August 2013
Picture Book for ages 3-6, 32 pp.
Cool themes: Transportation, trucks, alphabet.

Snack Pickup by Mr Cornelius

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poetryfriday180Katya is hosting today’s Roundup at Write. Sketch. Repeat. Rev up your engines and have fun checking out the full menu of poetic goodness being serving up in the blogosphere. VROOM!


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β™₯ More Alphabetica here.

alphabet icon Certified authentic alphabetica. Made by hand just for you with love, CBs, and lotsa diesel.


*Spreads from Alphabet Trucks posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright Β© 2013 Samantha R. Vamos, illustrations Β© 2013 Ryan O’Rourke, published by Charlesbridge. All rights reserved.

Copyright Β© 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

35 thoughts on “friday feast: cruisin’ along with alphabet trucks by samantha r. vamos and ryan o’rourke

    1. Yes, he definitely would! This was my first time seeing Ryan O’Rourke’s art too — found out he lives in Manchester, NH! πŸ™‚


    1. Glad you liked the post, Jill. Mr. Cornelius thanks you for the compliment. He happily ate his creation after I took the photo. πŸ™‚


  1. Dear Jama – Your review is TRUCKLOADS of fun! I cannot stop smiling reading it and admiring the layout. I’m now craving those truck edibles. I’d like to start with the sushi trucks followed by a dessert of semi truck cookies and the dump truck cookies. Thank you for adding so much fun to “Alphabet Trucks.” Samantha


    1. And thank You for writing this fun book! I liked learning about new trucks. Didn’t realize my truck I.Q. was so limited before. πŸ™‚ I plan to toss my newfound knowledge around at holiday cocktail parties . . .


    1. Yes, it’s a cake! I thought it was so cool. It’s amazing what some bakers can do with fondant icing. Truly a work of art.

      Mr. Cornelius thinks you should make a snack truck too. πŸ™‚


  2. Definitely must find a copy of this. Grandson/Christmas, etc. And since some of us are dibs-ing trucks, I think I’ll dibs one of the polka-dot semis. So cute! (If I saw that MARS truck on the highway, I would drive straight off the road.) Thanks for the post, Jama. Delicious, as usual.


  3. A truckload of cleverness, as usual. I’m putting this on my list of books for holiday purchases for a certain 5-year-old. He loves trucks! Hugs to Mr. Cornelius for his healthy snack!


    1. This book is definitely a must-have for boys, but I know girls will also love studying all the pictures — counting the letters, etc. Mr. Cornelius hugs you back. πŸ™‚


  4. How many truck-crazy little boys are going to want this book read to them every night?!! Undoubtedly, too many to count.

    Those truck cakes were insane! Maybe one day I’ll have to write a train poem so that I can post the photo of my 4 year old’s homemade train birthday cake. Of course this was back in the olden days when such undertakings seemed like a good idea.


      1. Jama – you’re the best! I’m in the midst of edits for ALPHABET TRAINS right now. It’s going to feature some of the most famous trains from around the world. The research for this book is really interesting. Ryan’s going to illustrate so I think it will be a very fun set. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.


      1. I’m discovering so many adult train fans. It’s really cool. I’ve watched a lot of video of trains for this book. I’m delighted to hear your husband will like it. Do you think Mr. Cornelius will prefer ALPHABET TRAINS or ALPHABET TRUCKS?


    1. My husband is a civil engineer who’s designed railroads. Hard to say which Mr. Cornelius would prefer. After all, he loves all food trucks, but then he also loves dining cars on trains. There is a romance about trains that I really enjoy. I got into them more when I lived in England — liked both the surface trains and underground. πŸ™‚


  5. Oh, wish this had been around when my son was little. Heck, he’d still probably like it! Thanks for sharing and loved all the wheeled edibles. (I made my daughter a fire truck cake for her 3rd birthday.) Big kudos to Mr. C. For his contribution!


    1. Another talented baker. I’m always impressed by those parents who make fancy birthday cakes for their kids. When researching wheeled edibles, I noted fire trucks and dump trucks seemed to be the most popular.


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