‘Supertruck’ by Stephen Savage at BookCourt

Truck yeah! P’Slope illustrator turns garbage trucks into superheroes

Brooklyn Daily
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This guy loves talking trash!

A Park Slope illustrator has penned a children’s book that celebrates the unsung hero of Brooklyn’s streets — garbage trucks. Stephen Savage said his new book “Supertruck” chronicles the adventures of a lowly garbage truck who, when a blizzard strikes, dons a snowplow and a new identity to help save the day.

Savage said he got inspiration for the plot when he saw garbage trucks lined up to become snowplows outside a warehouse near his Red Hook studio and thought about how the new duty transforms the smelly, hulking trucks into secret agents of salvation for people who rely on the roads.

“People in Brooklyn curse garbage trucks, but all of a sudden, in a really bad blizzard, when they came out, everyone cheered,” said Savage. “I just thought it would be nice to have a humble hero,” he said. “At the end of the book no one knows he saved the day, and he doesn’t need big press for what he’s doing.”

Also, he said, kids really like trucks.

Savage has illustrated or written six other books for kids, and is also a regular contributor to the New York Times, where he illustrates images for the opinion pages.

“I like keeping my feet in both worlds,” he said. “It’s fun to be able to do something for the op-ed page and also a book about garbage trucks. It’s the same style but for a totally different audience.”

In that spirit, Savage will give a live reading of “Supertruck” for youngsters at the New York Transit Museum Downtown on Jan. 24, but he is also holding one for their parents at BookCourt in Boerum Hill on Jan. 16.

“We wanted to have an adult-style reading,” said Savage. “It’s more fun to do it at night so we can have wine and beer and talk like adults.”

Savage will also have a not-so-secret guest joining him at the grown-up shindig — Department of Sanitation commissioner and fellow Park Sloper Kathryn Garcia.

Stephen Savage reads “Supertruck” to adults at BookCourt [163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean streets in Boerum Hill, (718) 875–3677,], Jan. 16 at 7 pm. Free.

Stephen Savage reads “Supertruck” to kids at the New York Transit Museum [Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street Downtown, (718) 694–1600,], Jan. 24 at 1:30 pm. Free with museum entry.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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