12/3/18

Coming in 2019…A Podcast for Children’s Trucker Stories

Children’s Grandpa and the Truck, books 1 and 2 glorify a trucker’s interesting life, as he goes about his job of transporting households across the United States. You see, our trucker/hero went to EVERY SINGLE STATE except one (do you know which one a trucker and his big rig can’t travel to?)

He became a trucker because he hated his first job. At 18 years of age, he was a roofer in Arkansas, smearing hot tar on roofs in punishing 120 degree heat. So, when he got the chance to become a delivery person for the conveyor truck (it conveyed or carried the products of shingles, tar, nails, brushes to the site), he jumped at it. What’d he learn? He was a natural trucker.

Now, as a long-haul trucker, a person learns a lot about our country–the cities..the rural areas…the different accents people have…their customs. He became an expert in geography who recognized the mighty rivers..the mountain ranges, the oceans. He learned about climate with ice-slicked roads..impenetrable fog…floods…hurricanes…tornadoes.

Sometimes he witnessed events that become historically important (the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969) when thousands of young people converged on a dairy farm in upstate New York and stayed there 3 days!! (I’ll bet you didn’t know New York had farms?) I’ll bet you didn’t even know the town where it happened wasn’t really Woodstock but its sister town of Bethel, New York? (Don’t feel bad–nobody knows that.)

Yep, truckers see things no one else does because they are on America’s highways, traveling everywhere.

And they form clubs of sorts…groups of fellow truckers, the men and women who do this tough job everyday of bringing to us every single product that we use (Look around your house and realize that the couch…the chair…the lamp…your computer..your clothes..your medicines…your food…everything was brought in by truckers.) Truckers have a very unique lifestyle, talking to each other on their CB radios, visiting Truck Stops where they refuel, wash their trucks, do laundry, rent a bed, play games, socialize.

I’m going to tell you all about this fascinating lifestyle, so that when a big rig passes you by, you’ll understand how unique these people are. When you hear the airhorn or the jake brake, you’ll know an 18-wheeler is nearby. You’ll envision their home away from home–the cab or tractor that pulls the trailer.  Some have inground swimming pools in them (I’m kidding!!) But they are pretty fancy!

You’ll hear of the great danger these men and women sometimes face, whether from nature or an even more threatening force–human beings–the crazy drivers out there who whip in and out of lanes or slam on their brakes last minute and expect a heavy 18-wheeler, fully loaded can stop on a dime!!!

You’ll hear their special language–at least the words I CAN share with you. Trucker lingo. You’ll hear their greatest fears. And the things they love best about this crazy job.

Finally you’ll learn that even if you hate math, you need to learn some of it to do their job because truckers use math skills every single day, on their jobs. I’ll explain how.

But our journey will be fun. I’ll be sharing the great geographic differences our country has that only truckers fully appreciate (cuz they’ve seen it all.)

It’s long overdue.

P.S. Our trucker’s nickname (truckers like to give each other those, too) is “Gater” because his last name was Gates. That’s “Gater” in the cartoon illustration and the real one, here, with a big rig. He nicknamed his truck, too (I’ll be telling you that, too.)…Stay tuned. The oral stories begin after Christmas, in the New Year–2019–when we finally give truckers the credit they deserve.

To order these books for the holidays, you must do so before December 12 (so why not do it today?) I can personalize to the child and sign them as author if you leave your wishes in the “Special instructions” section. I hope you’re on board for this exciting journey. Sign on so you don’t miss any of these stories……

08/15/12

Reviews Are Coming In–Along with Pictures

On the Amazon site, under our Grandpa and the Truck book, Barbara T. of Cranston says: “I bought two of these books to give away as gifts. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories will capture a child’s imagination. As a retired reading specialist I am impressed with the vocabulary used and the way each story is introduced with a lesson to be learned. It is a book that can be read a multiple of times and for different purposes. In addition to enjoying Grandpa’s tales, one is given the opportunity to learn about our states. This book can be used to teach a geography lesson. I highly recommend this book!

Know what I especially value in Barbara T’s review? She’s an exepert in her field, a reading specialist of many years’ experience who recognizes this book can be read a ‘multiple of times and for different purposes.’ She likes the vocabulary (I don’t water it down) and the lesson that’s introduced clearly at the beginning of each story. She points out its geographic value, as tool for little ones to learn about our states.

Thank you, Barbara. As a teacher, I tried to hit on all levels–not just put out a cute, fuzzy, feel-good book.

Though I characterize its best audience as the 4-8 crowd, some parents have already introduced their younger ones to it, at age 2 and up..Reading together can’t start too early.

Here’s little one, Tyler Harrington, son of Alicia Stickney Harrington (one of my former students) so happy with Grandpa and the Truck, he’s trying to eat it.

But in next pic, he gets down to serious business pointing out “Twuck…twuck…and big rig (some of the vocabulary little ones will learn in the glossary of terms called “Trucker Talk.”)

Join us on this exciting journey.

We go to Hasbro’s Children’s Hospital soon, to do a reading, complete with truck models and sound effects of jake brakes clicking and air horns blasting..We hope to give little ones facing difficult health problems, a reprieve, if even for a short time.