Monday, October 25, 2010

Three Little Rigs, Hansel & Diesel, and The Ugly Truckling by David Gordon

Children (ages 4-8) who love trucks and tools will immensely enjoy this series of books by David Gordon.  Each is a contemporary and creative adaption of a traditional fairy tale using trucks as the main characters. The rich-colored artwork conveys the mood and tone of the various parts of each narrative. The bold colors against neutral settings are suitable and appealing to young children. 

Hansel and Diesel

Following the formula of "Hansel and Gretel," this tale follows two little trucks through the junkyard as they look for gasoline to help their family get through the winter.   The pair arrives at a flashy gas station where a wench coerces them inside to rest for the night.  As the garage door is closing and screaming saw blades appear from the ceiling and floor, the two little rigs wake up.  They act quickly by revving their engines and crashing out the door.  Concurrently, their parents are nearby looking for them by following their trail of bolts they left.  Together, they defeat the wicked wench.  The family opens the gas station to all the other trucks in the junk yard to use.   Parent Warning:  The idea of saw blades coming down may be scary to some children, but the image is not graphic nor is the idea dwelt on. 

The Ugly Truckling
Instead of a duck, Gordon uses an adorable propeller plane in his adaption of "The Ugly Duckling."   The ugly truckling doesn’t fit in with the little pick-up trucks that make up his large family of siblings.  They tease him because he only has 3 wheels and because he cannot carry things around.  As a result, he leaves his family to see if he belongs somewhere else.   During his quest for self-discovery, he sees a group a planes flying overhead.  He finally finds the place he belongs:  in the sky with the other planes. 

The Three Little Rigs
Like "The Three Little Pigs," the three little rigs leave their mother to make their own homes (garages).   Unfortunately, a wicked wrecking ball with a mean countenance comes along as each one finishes his garage.  He says, “Little rig, little rig, let me come in!”  Each rig responds, “Not by the chrome on my chinny chin chin.”  The wrecking ball promises to crash, bash, and smash the house.  Only the third little rig’s garage stays in tacked after the wrecking ball crashes into it. The wrecking ball is not deterred though.  It returns with a mean magnet and cruel cutter.  The three little rigs defeat them and live happily ever after in a steel garage together. 


  1. Ooh, I have to check these out! I love retold/reimagined fairy tales and am always looking for new ones to share. :)

  2. I am glad you found some new books here to check out! Once you read them, let me know what you think. :)


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