As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know all to well, I am on a quest to use LTD to recreate good things from my childhood (for obvious reasons I will let him choose the bad things). It is with that goal in mind that I present the book Big Joe’s Trailer Truck, first published in 1974. Big Joe’s Trailer Truck, words and pictures by Joe Mathieu, explores a day (and night) in the life of Big Joe, a truck driver. We learn what happens when Big Joe picks up his empty rig, loads it and drives to the final destination. I can’t stress enough how cool the illustrations are, they pop off the page with such energy that I can taste the diesel.
My favorite scene takes place in a truck stop diner, where Joe sits with his pals. One of the other drivers eats eggs and the picture always cracks me up. Don’t ask me why, but you will have to see it for yourself, as words don’t do it justice, but I will say that the eggs don’t look like no eggs I have ever seen. While the book chooses to ignore certain aspects of the long distance trucking culture like cocaine and methamphetamine use to stay awake, the book does show the truckers worlds without being overly technical and for the young gear head it even shows a map of the truck parts. For extra credit try and figure out how much an 18 wheel truck has changed since 1974.