Since retiring from the Australian army in 1984, Cargo the Army Truck got a new job and has been doing jobs that are too difficult for other trucks and cars to do. Built for rough terrains, Cargo was perfect for hauling supplies to cut off communities in Western New South Wales, Australia – especially when the rains came, and the road (the Cobb Highway) was little more than a dirt track. We learned more about Cargo and his friend William ‘Billy’ Baird OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) and their true-life heroic exploits in the first book of The Adventures of Cargo the Army Truck series, Cargo gets a new job! written by Paul Dekmetzian. Now Cargo is back for another adventure in The Long and Muddy Road!
In The Adventures of Cargo the Army Truck: The Long and Muddy Road! Cargo is back travelling the Cobb Highway to Booligal and Ivanhoe, delivering food supplies to the people who are stuck in the towns. Once the rain hits, the road (unpaved) just becomes a muddy track which cuts off the towns, so unless you have a helicopter, aeroplane or army truck you are stuck until the road dries out. Whilst travelling the long and muddy road, Cargo and his massive wheels, helps a stranded farmer get all his wool to market and also finds a lost, hungry dog so gives him a lift to town.
Overall, The Adventures of Cargo the Army Truck: The Long and Muddy Road! by Paul Dekmetzian is a good little story based on real events of an army truck helping local communities. Children will love reading about Cargo’s adventures of selfishly helping out isolated communities, and even stranded dogs.
The story is very simple, whilst not being overly exciting. It is written in an easy to read and understand way that children will be able to enjoy with ease and grasp the concept. It tells the story of unselfishly caring for others and doing what you can help out, whilst also telling the story of a retired army truck that has plenty of life left in it and being put to good use.
As it is a picture book, it is of course packed with some beautiful illustrations. These illustrations really help to bring the story alive and show exactly what Cargo is up to on his adventures.
It is a very interesting book to explore the history and work of a true hero. A really enjoyable tale of a historic army vehicle and his new role after retirement.
If you want to know more about Cargo, you can watch a very interesting news item from ABC’s Countrywide program about the exploits of this humanitarian army truck on YouTube here (it is definitely worth a watch).
For me, this wasn’t the most exciting story, but it is excellent for illustrating to children the importance of helping out others.
RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £2.80 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.