Elbow Grease by John Cena
Illustrated by Howard McWilliam
Published by Penguin Random House Australia
Date: 29 October 2018
Elbow Grease is a small truck but has never let it bother him, he is also a little different to the other trucks, but it never upsets him. When his brothers teased him when he told them his dreams it only made him more determined, but when he stumbles across some difficulties, he begins to wonder whether his brothers are right and he begins to cry. With a Crack-A-Lack-A and a Book-Shock-A-Lock-A, Elbow Grease’s eyes pop wide and…I won’t spoil it completely here although Elbow Grease does show courage, determination and that believing in yourself is important.
I wasn’t sure about this book at first, but as I got a feel for the story my face literally began to light up with a smile. As I turned each page my smile grew and I was thankful that children were going to learn how to believe in themselves, no matter what other’s think of them. Its message is loud about not needing to be the best but just being yourself is enough, because being true to yourself means you can achieve many things. We need more books like this for children, the messages can be subtle or bold like this one. Whichever way it is received, installing positive messages into children at a young age will hopefully help them to be confident, brave and see their own abilities.
Not only does the book share positive messages but It also teaches children about the Monster truck world. We lean that there are different types of trucks, the abilities of different sized trucks and that they have names.
The illustrations are fun and there is a combination of text and speech bubbles that deliver the story. Each page is full of colour and muddy browns, and true to the monster truck racing world – muddy puddles, dirt tracks, obstacles, bridges and a whole lot of dirty trucks.
Overall this is a fun and positive story for 3-5 year old, but would suit any child that loves cars and trucks. John Cena has brought to life a monster truck – Elbow Grease, who is bound to become a childhood favourite for many, and I am hopeful we will see more adventures from him in the future.
Thank you to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.