The Blue Pickup

Cover of The Blue Pickup
The Blue Pickup by Natasha Tripplett

By Natasha Tripplett
Illustrated by Monica Mikai
Harper/HarperCollins, 2024
40 pages

Ages 4-8

Ju-Girl (Black) loves spending time with her granddad, who runs a garage. “I help him fix radiators, switch out batteries, and even change a car’s oil.” Her favorite thing is organizing Granddad’s socket wrench set. When they take a break, they sit on the gate of his old Blue Pickup, where she drinks Ting and listens to Granddad’s stories of when he—and the truck–were both younger, and he drove to jobs around the island. The truck no longer runs, and when Ju-Girl suggests Granddad fix it he says he doesn’t have time. Then comes a day with two surprises. The first is the truck, running once more. They drive around their parish and Granddad reminisces about places they pass and people who used to live there. The second surprise, when they’re back in town, is a socket wrench set of her very own. “Granddad, do you think one day I can drive the Blue Pickup?” she asks. “Ju-Girl, one day you can have the blue pickup.”  An energetic, upbeat tale inspired by the author’s grandfather, who taught her the importance of  taking care of old things and “preserving the past through storytelling,” is set in Jamaica and paired with illustrations that reflect the colors of the island and the loving relationship at the heart of the story. A brief author’s note is accompanied by a photo showing that she did, indeed, inherit the Blue Pickup, a coda that will add to readers’ pleasure. ©2024 Cooperative Children’s Book Center