Do You Know a Vehicle King?

I gave the book to a neighbor – yes, it was a favorite, yes, it was out of print. But her first and favorite grandson was named William, and he loved vehicles as Daniel had; William the Vehicle King, by Laura P. Newton, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers.

Fast forward nine years, to my first and favorite grandson, Jack. Jack is even more of a vehicle king than Dave, or Tim, or Terry, Andy, Daniel, or William. Vehicles, especially construction vehicles, are our only conversation; naming types of construction vehicles, his first words. (He learned to say chocolate car in a big hurry after I found them in a candy shop!) William the Vehicle King was even more out of print, and sporting an out-of-reach price tag. And that neighbor and I had moved several times in those nine years.

Just as one calls something into the universe, that same neighbor called wanting to return a first grade sport coat that had also belonged to Daniel (who started college this year). In our catch-up conversation about grandchildren, I mentioned that I needed to find another William the Vehicle King for car-loving Jack. She went home and found it still on her bookshelf, and her grandchildren lovingly searched through outgrown Matchbox cars to match every vehicle in each illustration just for Jack. And they packed them up in a well-loved Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox!

William the Vehicle King by Laura P. Newton

William the Vehicle King by Laura P. Newton

Which will bring the most joy tomorrow (Jack actually puts his hands up in the air and says, “Wow!” on a regular basis) – the perfect book for the newest vehicle king? The accompanying Matchbox cars for our own matching game? The Thomas the Tank Engine lunch box? Or Grandy’s blue car coming up the driveway? (I didn’t have a chance to stop for chocolate cars this week)