WELCOME BACK TO THE DUMP TRUCK DUCK BOOK BLOG TOUR!
Yesterday, I had the privilege of reviewing Dump Truck Duck. [review here] Today, Mr. “Dump Truck” Duck agreed to stop by Kid Lit Reviews and answer a few questions about his first picture book. Please welcome Duck, from Dump Truck Duck!
Duck drives around in a blue dump truck. It’s not a fancy dump truck, but it is a lovely shade of blue. My first question is simple: Why a blue dump truck?
“Quack, quack-quack, quack quack qua—”
Hold on a minute, Duck, we seem to be having a problem with the translation software—let me just, “Hump!” . . . adjust this knob a . . . “Ugh!” . . . little. “Phew!” Okay, Mr. Duck, would you mind starting again? Why a blue dump truck?
“Oh, sure, no problem. Anyway, as I was saying, my great-grand-duck always used to tell me,
“Any duck can drive a truck–the hard part is finding a truck that won’t drive you.”
“I think she meant that the secret is choosing a rig where you feel completely comfortable behind the wheel. From the first time I took a dump truck out for a spin, I knew I’d found the truck for me. Now, I won’t deny I’ve taken a turn at the controls of a bulldozer and even a steamroller once–I like to lend a feather whenever I can–but those other rigs aren’t my first choice, and they never will be
But why blue?
“As for my dump truck, BIG BLUE? I never really thought about it, but I guess the color reminds me of home. I grew up in a cozy nest on the shores of Lake Quackalacka, which has the most brilliant blue water you’ll ever see in your life. I might spend most of my time on land these days, but I left my heart at Lake Quackalacka.”
In Dump Truck Duck, you work with a lot of different ducks driving various construction equipment. Which duck was the worst to work with?
“You know, when we’re working together on site, all those ducks are like family to me. Like any family, we don’t always see eye-to-eye. I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers by telling you this, but Digger Duck could stand to be a little more careful when she’s operating her rig. Have I ever lost my temper when she’s slung a sloppy scoop of dirt at my dump truck? Sure. But who could blame me?”
The park almost didn’t get built. You’re truck stalled out. What happened? Was it sabotage?
“I only wish it were sabotage–that would be a lot less embarrassing than what really happened. No, this one was entirely due to duck error, I’m sorry to say. You can’t really tell from the book, but we were pretty behind schedule on that park. There was a problem with the permits–you know how it goes. Bureaucracy, am I right?
“Anyway, the neighborhood ducklings had been waiting so long for the park to be finished that we were really booking it, trying to build the whole thing in one day, and somehow somebody left a pile of brambles in the road, and they really shredded Big Blue’s engine. I’m not pointing wings at anyone–I’m sure it was an honest mistake. Nobody wants to deal with engine trouble in the middle of a job, but the crew all came together to help. Like I said, on site, we’re family.”
I’m glad your duck squad completed the park. The story of this park build, aka Dump Truck Duck, is your first picture book. Why did you want your literary debut to be in a picture book for young children instead of a journal for builders or something more grown-up, like a chapter book?
“I have to give the Ms. Bryant full credit for the book format. I originally thought that if she wanted to tell my story, the Great American Novel would be the only way to do it. But she insisted on pictures and was pretty darn persuasive—I think her exact words were,
“People won’t believe a construction site run by ducks unless they see it with their own eyes.”
“In the end, I have to admit she was right.”
Author’s can be pretty persuasive. You must have worked closely with Ms. Bryant. Tell me something no one else would know about working with this author.
“Yes, we did work closely together—though we almost didn’t work together at all. The first time she interviewed me, there was a problem with the translation software.”
I seem to understand.
“Well, Ms. Bryant accidentally set to “GOOSE” not “DUCK.” So you can imagine, she interviews me for two hours, then goes home to transcribe the interview, only to have tapes and tapes of the most ridiculous gobbledygook you can imagine. All honks and hisses, no substance, know what I mean?
“We were both pretty steamed about that–she thought I was wasting her time, I thought she was too dense to know the difference between a duck and a goose. Of course, we can laugh about it now. Ultimately, this experience showed us how much we have in common—we’re both passionate perfectionists who care deeply about doing the best work we possibly can.”
It’s the illustrator’s job to get your image as close to reality as possible. Did your illustrator do a good job with your likeness?
“You know, the illustrator, Jo de Ruiter, she’s a class act; a grade-A artist. I feel like she captured everything perfectly, right down to how dirty we get when we’re on the job. To be completely honest, I probably wash Big Blue a little more often than I used to, now that I’ve seen Ms. de Ruiter’s art. I mean, I’m a duck, not a pig! There’s no excuse for a filthy truck.
I couldn’t tell from the illustrations, but I am wondering, did you have any signage or bumper stickers on your dump truck? Maybe a “Vote for Monster” sticker?
“No, there aren’t any bumper stickers on my dump truck. As a potential distraction, that would be a safety violation at any reputable construction site.”
There have been quite a few construction-types on Kid Lit Reviews. I’m curious. Do you know any of these characters?
Stanley from Stanley’s Garage & Stanley the Builder?
Dog from Digger Dog?
What? Any of the machines in Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site?
“Afraid not—but I’d be happy to make their acquaintance. Hey, that’s an idea—maybe we could all work at the same site sometime. I know what we should build . . .a new library!”
That would be one cool library! If you could do anything else, what would you do?
“Two words: ROAD TRIP! Imagine it . . . me, Big Blue, the open road . . . adventure awaits!”
If a “passionate perfectionist”—or not—young child wanted to drive a blue dump truck like yours, what advice would you give him or her?
“Stay in school, little one! There’s a lot to learn before you can do the kind of work truck ducks do every day. You’ve got to take special classes to operate this kind of dangerous, heavy-duty machinery, and I always advise aspiring construction ducks to learn about safety, mechanics, truck repair—the works!”
Now that Dump Truck Duck has published, what are your plans?
“Things are pretty busy—my next three jobs are already lined up, and I can’t wait. I’ve got a suspension bridge in Garden Gate, followed by a treetop housing development in Acorn Acres, and–this is the one I’m really looking forward to–a splash park at Lake Quackalacka!
“Oh, sorry—you probably want to know about book plans.”
Yes, that, too.
“I definitely feel like I’ve got more stories to tell, if Ms. Bryant’s interested. Every site is a new adventure. I’m sure we’ll stay in touch. After all, we’ve been through alot together. I mean, you think working a construction site is hard? Try writing a book! Haha, I’m quacking myself up here.
“Seriously, though, just the other day Ms. Bryant sent me this picture of herself in a mini bulldozer. All she needs is a hardhat and she’ll be ready to get to work!”
What about new books. Anything releasing soon for Ms. Bryant?
“Does she ever! Next up is MY SNOW GLOBE, which will be available this coming September. Spoiler alert–I have some cousins from up north who will be making a guest appearance in that one.
“Next year she has a new chapter-book series, POCKET GENIUS, coming out, along with her YA novel debut, GLOW. I told her she better not forget about all us little ducks when she hits the big time!”
Is there anything you, Duck, or your author, would like to say to your readers?
“I’d like to thank everyone who’s read my story. It’s a big deal for a duck like me to be in a book, you know? When I think about that little duckling back on Lake Quackalacka, the one who used to dream of someday driving a dump truck—anyway, I sure do appreciate the support.
“Finally, the most important thing I’d want to say is “Quack quack quaaaaaaack quack-quack!”
Hold on, Duck. I think this darn translation software has gone bonkers again. Just . . . one . . . second—hey! Where did Duck go off too? Did he leave? Really? Oh, geez.
Well, it was nice having “Dump Truck” Duck here at Kid Lit Reviews. If you would like to know more about his picture book, Dump Truck Duck, you can read a review (here) or check out the following websites and links:
A BIG THANK YOU to Megan Bryant for her time as “Dump Truck” Duck. All answers © 2016 Megan Bryant.
Follow the Book Tour — Next Stop: Susan Heim on Parenting: An Activity & a Giveaway!
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Dump Truck Duck by Megan E. Bryant & Jo de Ruiter, and received from Albert Whitman & Co., is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. 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.”