The Christmas Truck by J.B. Blankenship and Illustrated by Cassandre Bolan

[I received a review copy of this book from the author.  No other compensation was received.]

The Christmas Truck is a fun, joyful, and adventurous Christmas story!

Papa is in the kitchen baking while Dad is outside hanging up the lights.  Papa, Dad, and kiddo get a Christmas tree, decorate it, and then head out to the town square.  They go to the town’s Christmas tree and the two dads explain how there are a lot of children who cannot afford gifts on Christmas.  In the spirit of Christmas, they choose Michael Clay’s name off of the tree, and buy a fire truck and other gifts for him.  They wrap it and put it under their tree at home.

On Christmas, while the whole family is eating dinner, they hear a CRASH! The Christmas tree has fallen over and crushed the fire truck they bought for Michael Clay!  Christmas is ruined! Or is it?  Cue in grandma!  Grandma used to be the fire chief.  She’s got it covered!  She takes out her phone and works some Christmas magic of her own.  This story joyfully and festively brings home the message that Christmas truly is for giving.

The storyline is fun, with a dash of drama, and ends with a very happy resolution.  Reading The Christmas Truck with my family is a joy!  It is told in rhyme with a festive and upbeat rhythm.  “Christmas time is coming, I can see it in the sights.  Houses on our block are decked out in Christmas lights.”  We’ve read The Christmas Truck no less than thirty-five times over the past month and it captures my family’s attention and enthusiasm each time we read it!  My son declares that, “It belongs in the good stack!”  He’s asked me to read it to him over and over again.

The brightly colored illustrations are lively and dazzling.  You can practically hear the jingling of sleigh bells and Frank Sinatra singing Winter Wonderland in the background.  The acrylic-like illustrations capture the story so well that the best of Christmas all but spills out of the book and into the room.

Reading The Christmas Truck is a new family favorite and we will happily read this book each holiday season for years and years to come.

All Ages.  NarraGarden LLC.  September 2014. 46 pages. ISBN:  978-0990743408. Fiction.

Where to Get it:

You Should Read The Christmas Truck because:

  • It’s so much fun and magnificently illustrated.
  • This is the first Christmas picture book with two dads.  More importantly, it’s one of the first Christmas picture books with two dads that isn’t about the fact that the child has two dads.
  • It is a beautiful and fun way to talk with your children about how there are all kinds of families.  My son was very surprised that the child had a both a Papa and a Dad.  He asked me, “Are you sure that’s what it says?”  I showed him and then we had a great conversation about how there are many types of families.  Our extended family is made up of almost every combination I can think of — from single moms to two moms to multiple generations to adopted children to divorced and remarried  — so I welcome the opportunity to talk with my son about diversity.
  • Seriously, the illustrations are gorgeous! Scroll down and you can see them for yourself.  The Christmas lights are, in particular, spectacularly done.
  • It promotes the best of Christmas — giving and family.  The child and the family buy a gift for another child whose family cannot afford Christmas gifts.  After we read the story, my son asked if we could get a fire truck for someone.  He then quoted the book saying, “The season is for giving!”  Amen!
  • It features something going wrong during Christmas.  I can’t tell you how many Christmases I’ve had that did not go smoothly.  It’s great to see this in a Christmas book. I’m especially fond of how well the family in The Christmas Truck responds to the hiccup in their Christmas.  It’s inspiring!
  • The child’s gender in the story is intentionally ambiguous.  It’s very subtle and adeptly done. Not surprisingly, I assumed that the child was a girl and my son assumed that the child was a boy.
  • It is also available in Italian.   A Dutch version will be available soon.
  • This book is a joy to read!  It really does represent the best of Christmas.  I do hope you get to read and enjoy it with your family!
Images courtesy J. B. Blankenship © 2014  Used with permission.

From The Christmas Truck Images courtesy of J. B. Blankenship © 2014

Decorated House

From The Christmas Truck Images courtesy of J. B. Blankenship © 2014

Tree Decorating

From The Christmas Truck Images courtesy of J. B. Blankenship © 2014

From The Christmas Truck Images courtesy of J. B. Blankenship © 2014


Book Trailer:

Author and Illustrator Websites:

  • Papa Dad and Me
  • Facebook Page
    • Also, J.B. Blankenship and his dog volunteer with  A great organization that brings dogs into Chicago public elementary schools.  Here the kids can, “read stories to the dogs about dogs and then write their own stories about dogs.”

More Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the author. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. You are right about the illustrations – gorgeous! I’m going to save this title so I can review for Christmas next year! Thank you for bringing diversity not only to your children’s lives but to everyone who reads your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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