The Spooky Tire (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown)
It was dark.
It was stormy.
It was night.
Melvin had a flat tire.
Cement mixer Melvin is in a situation. With a deflated front tire, he hopefully rolls into a shadowy, spooky junkyard in hopes of snagging a spare. And there he sees one, a strangely orangish, strangely glowing tire. It's a weird one, all right, but if the tire fits, wear it, Melvin thinks.
But before Melvin can roll back the way he came, he is stopped right in his treads.
"WHO TOOK MY GOLDEN TIRE?" a spooky voice called.
Melvin was worried.
Melvin was scared.
The timorous cement mixer hurriedly makes for home and, still spooked, parks himself in what he hopes is an undisclosed location, in hopes of an incognito idle.
"WHO TOOK MY GOLDEN TIRE?"
The spooky voice had found him!
Melvin pulls in his fenders and closes his eyes, but the spooky voice grows closer, until to his horror he sees a dark draped shape, with headlights glowing from behind its covering sheet.
"YOU TOOK IT!"
Don't you want the OTHER one?"
For those youngsters who are both ready to read or, as the author puts it in his introduction, "ready to roll," Jon Scieszka and his trio of vehicular design artists have a brand-new offering for the season, The Spooky Tire (Ready-to-Read Level 1) (Aladdin, 2009.) Using the, er, bare bones of the familiar folktale "The Golden Arm" and its variants, this talented pit crew has fashioned some timely truck fun for their emergent reader fans. Other books in this easy-to-read series are Uh-Oh, Max (Ready-to-Read. Level 1) and Pete's Party (Ready-to-Read. Level 1).