When I started working on TOO MUCH! NOT ENOUGH! with Tundra editor Samantha Swenson, she had so many wonderful ideas to make the story bigger and more chaotic. My dummy was 32 pages, and the final book is 40. Sam tossed out a few ideas to make their rainy day chaos even MORE chaotic. One of them was playing with dinky cars. Now, I naively thought Sam meant little cars and that dinky was just a cute descriptor. No! She was actually referring to Dinky cars - a line of English metal toy cars and trucks made from the late 1930s to 1970s. And in a strange coincidence, I actually had been collecting metal matchbox cars and trucks from England in the 1970s. Not Dinky, but close! I loved playing with toy cars as a kid, but one little red truck was my favorite, and very much a symbol of my dad, who drove an 18-wheeler when I was a kid. It was also made the year I was born, extra special! I had been picking up similar trucks at antique stores the past few years. I loved how they were styled and hoped to use them as inspiration for another picture book idea I've been picking away at.
So of course I was excited to add toy cars to Peanut and Moe's play landscape. But when I started working on them, I realized it would be way more fun if I could make OTHER kids special toy cars and trucks part of the book, too. I reached out on instagram and several friends sent pictures. My son was also busy making his first Pinewood Derby car so that was an great source of ideas, too.