Truck, Truck, Goose! (+ giveaway)

Honk! Honk! Honk!

Zoe Waring and I have a book that will be vrooming onto the scene on August 15.

Truck, Truck, Goose! stars a silly goose who, unbeknownst to him, causes one terrific truck traffic jam during his quest to have the perfect picnic in a nearby roundabout.

This, by the way, is what Kirkus said about our book:  “Waring’s bright, digital cartoon illustrations include pleasingly rounded, expressive characters that add great humor to the text, while the illustrated trucks, unnamed by the limited text, invite identification by listeners. Don’t duck this picture book.” I love that!

Zoe was kind enough to stop by Picture Book Builders.

Welcome, Zoe! This book features a wide array of trucks ranging from a dump truck to a mixer truck to a firetruck. Do you have a favorite?

Ooh, that’s a tough one! I think it may be the monster truck! I love the big, fierce wheels and the fact that Croc is able to raise the suspension to see what’s causing all the chaos.

Your animals are so fresh and adorable. I am especially taken with the fun details. Goose, for example, wears giant red glasses. Tell us a little bit about creating this cast.

Thank you! The cast of characters was incredibly fun to create and I’m pleased it shows! I love drawing characters and this book needed lots of drivers for all those trucks! I counted them up recently and was surprised to find there were 25 animals in total – that’s not including the cheeky fruit stealing ants you may spot!

As a starting point I tried to tie some of the animals in with the trucks they were going to be driving. I thought, who likes barking at the mailman…who’s big and strong and able carry the trash…who loves playing with mud? This was a great starting point for helping me get a feel for the various drivers and their outfits and accessories. And then I couldn’t resist including some of my favorite animals to draw – like Panda and Raccoon!

Goose is definitely the star of the show though, I’m so happy with how he turned out! I wanted him to look like he meant business…but at the same time completely oblivious to the chaos that ensues around him. He needed to be a funny little guy on a mission, so a quirky bow-tie and some large rimmed glasses felt the right way to go! The bright colors also contrasted really well against his white feathers, to give him a strong identity throughout the book.

Truck, Truck, Goose! is a real deal story with characters, conflict, and commotion. Oh, and it only contains 45 words. Most of the story is shown through the art. What was this challenge like?

It was a very different challenge to books I’ve illustrated in the past, but one I loved! I had some fantastic little hints from the author (you!) for the setting, which was a really helpful starting point and some initial ideas to work with from the team. There was also a lot of freedom to interpret things from my perspective – which was a quite daunting initially, but once I got scribbling I probably got a little too carried away! (I’ve attached a rough of the roundabout scene we didn’t use, with all the characters.)

Having limited text does open things a lot, so there were quite a few rounds of roughs while we tested out various outcomes and layouts. This became a real team effort and definitely makes the book even stronger. Big thanks to our Art Director Rachel Zegar and commissioning editor Jill Davis at HarperCollins!

I did find that having fewer words made it extra important as my role as illustrator to help to tell the story. The characters play a huge part in this, I wanted to express their moods and emotions through facial expressions and body language… something I very much enjoy! I tend to act these things out whilst drawing at my desk—a side glance from a grumpy cat or the open expression of a super happy panda… (I’m pleased there isn’t a camera in here! ha!).

Adding in some little sideline stories and details also became quite important to me in this process. Some of my favorite books growing up were Richard Scarry books—I’d love searching the pages for new things to spot each time. I think this has a big influence on the way I work and I can be little self indulgent at times. Hopefully it encourages readers to return to the book to make discoveries of their own, too! See if you can spot the lobsters playing chess…

If you had one key piece of advice for illustrators, what would it be?

Draw, draw, draw and draw some more! Find your voice and style and share it with the world! It’s taken me a few years of practice to get to where I am, and I can see that the more I draw, the more my skills and confidence has built…and those dreams have finally begun to come true!! YAY!

Scoop time! What’s next for you?

Aside from my new baby arriving in September (SQUEAL!), I have lots of lovely new books on their way and development in the pipeline! On December 5th my first author-illustrated book, No Hugs for Porcupine is publishing with Running Press Books. Exciting! Summer 2018 sees Peeping Beauty fly onto the shelves, written by Brenda Maier with Simon & Schuster. August 2018 we will see our favorite Goose and his friends return for more adventures in Go Fish! with HarperCollins. I’m also currently working on a lovely board book series with Parragon!


Zoe Waring is a children’s book illustrator and designer based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Zoe loves the warmth and humor so often found in children’s picture books and is a little obsessed with cute baby animals, which often make an appearance within her artwork.

She works in a variety of materials and loves creating engaging characters to make people smile.

When she’s not drawing in her sunny studio, she can be found exploring the beautiful British countryside.

To find out more please visit her website: 

Or follow her on Twitter:

And Instagram:



For a chance to have a mail truck stop at YOUR house with a first edition copy of Truck, Truck, Goose!, please leave a comment. Winner will be notified in my next post.


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Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. I hope you have great success with Truck Truck Goose! Love the cover!!

  2. What fun! I love the play on a well-loved children’s playground game and the the way the story is told with minimal text but multi-layered illustrations. Can’t wait to get a copy to share with children, parents and teachers!

  3. Such fun! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looking forward to this one! Congratulations Tammi and Zoe!!

  5. This book sounds wonderful. Can’t wait for it–fun!

  6. Sounds absolutely delightful! Can’t wait to read it.

  7. So very adorable! Can’t wait to see the whole book! Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

  8. Oh this looks adorable! Thanks for sharing it, Tammi and Zoe ? Can’t wait to read it!

  9. Loved the sneak peek at your next book! Great to see the behind-the-scenes of the illustrations – so adorable!

  10. Love it! All your books are amazing!

  11. This looks adorable on so many levels and will have wide audience appeal! Congrats!

  12. I love a good truck book. This one looks fantastic! Congrats to you both!

  13. danielle hammelef

    This is a fun twist on the children’s circle game! I adore the illustrations (love the glasses too!!). The drivers and their trucks are so much fun. Can’t wait to read and study this book.

  14. Draw, draw, draw—great advice. What child (and parent) won’t love this book.

  15. Great title, great story and great illustrations. Great job! 🙂 Congrats!

  16. what a sweet concept…can’t wait to read it!

  17. I adore this book, Tammi! Thanks for the sneak peek at our SCBWI Connect meeting. The ending is clever, unexpected, and funny.

  18. Wow, this is amazing! Congratulations to both of you, and thanks for sharing how it all came together!

  19. I can’t wait to read this book and spy the details in the illustrations! I was smiling as I read this wonderfully fun post.

  20. What a dream team! Looking forward to enjoying Truck Truck Goose very soon!
    Congratulations to you both.

  21. This looks so cute and fun! Great idea, and what a great premise. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Oh, this looks adorable, and I can’t wait to see how 45 words play out to tell this neat-sounding story. Congrats to you both!

  23. I love everything about this book and this interview! Congrats to Tammi and Zoe!

  24. The title alone grabs me 🙂 Congrats on the new book! I look forward to the fun.

  25. Congrats, Tammi & Zoe! This looks adorable and funny. I love the cover :).

  26. Stacy Digianantonio

    This book looks like lots of fun and the illustrations are cute!

  27. I’m always on the look out for new books for my grandson – I love this one! I’ll have to buy a copy if I don’t win 🙂

  28. All those cute animals and fun vehicles immediately brought Richard Scarry to mind–we loved those books too when my son was young. Congrats to you both!

  29. What a blast, Tammi! Can’t wait to see it. (Another Scarry fan here.)

  30. This was not on my radar, but now I will be sure to order it for our library. Congratuations!!!

  31. Thank you for sharing. I am teaching preschool this year and will be adding this story to my must read list. Congrats on your book!

  32. What a perfect match of author and illustrator! Plus, “roundabout” is such a fun word to say. And only 45 words — is that a record for you, Tammi?

    Can’t wait to see this one. And I love any tribute to Richard Scarry, too.

  33. Congratulations, Zoe and Tammi, on what I know is going to be a very fun book to share with my grandsons. They love trucks and spying the little details like those you mentioned.

  34. What a fun post! I want to read this book! It looks so cute. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Congratulations! I love the play on words and the tie in with the roundabout that goes with the game duck, duck, goose. Perfect storytelling and great illustrations. Cannot wait to read it and really look at all the little things in the illustrations, like Richard Scarry’s books. I loved them too.

  36. Truly delightful characters. I look forward to seeing the whole thing.

  37. This sounds like such a cute book! Can’t wait to read!

  38. Love the title of your book,Tammi. Congrats to you and Zoe! My kids loved Richard Scarry books. I’m sure this will be a hit with kids. I can’t wait to read it, too!

  39. Clever idea. What fun!

  40. Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to see this one! It sounds adorable and at only 45 words! Tammi, you are the master. And TRUCK, TRUCK, GOOSE has found the perfect illustrator in Zoe. Congratulations!

  41. I can’t wait to meet Goose! What an adorable cover!

  42. So much fun! May you have lots of success!

  43. Great title, fun story, and adorable illustrations – what could be better?!

  44. Such happy news!!! Can’t wait!

  45. Such fun!!! Can’ wait!

  46. Sounds delightful. Looking forward to adding this to our preK- 2 collection (and playing the duck,duck,goose game)!

  47. This book looks like so much fun. Love those illustrations!

  48. so much to look at while learning a new story!

  49. This looks like so much fun. Silly Goose! Can’t wait to read it/

  50. Looks like another great book. Love Goose’s specs!

  51. What a lovely-looking picture book, I reckon both my 16-month old son and 3-year old daughter would really enjoy it!

  52. This book looks like a perfect combo of text and illustration. I cant wait to share it with my truck loving buddies.

  53. What a great book! Congratulations!

  54. Duck, Duck, Goose… could you NOT love it! Great title.

  55. Tammi and Zoe, the fact this story is loaded with animals guarantees I’ll read it, but the storyline itself and the vibrant cartoon illustrations hooked me. I am excited to read this!!! Congratulations on this book!!!

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