Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. After a break for Christmas, I’m back with my weekly reviews. To kick off the new year I have the fun (and musical) Driving my Tractor (age 2-5) by Jan Dobbins and David Sim. I have to thank Rebecca at Barefoot Books for my review copy.
Travel with a farmer and his tractor as he picks up various farm animals along his route. The story is written in a fun rhyme and includes a lot of repetitive text making it easy for kids to read along as well as predict what comes next. The farmer picks up animals in increasing numbers, one black-and-white cow, two grey donkeys and so on all the way up to five brown chickens. The text includes descriptors for each animal and also includes animal noises which makes it a fun and interactive read.
My kids noticed that as the farmer travels his route, the seasons on his farm change. You see wheat being harvested in the summer, apples being picked in the fall, a blanket of white in the winter. My seven-year old also picked out the two bunnies that seemed to appear on every page. Now the kids love to point them out as we go from page to page.
The illustrations also add to the fun, child-like feel to the story.
But if you were to ask my five-year old son his favourite part of the book Driving my Tractor, he’d say it’s the singalong CD, performed by acclaimed children’s performer SteveSongs. We actually listened to the CD before the book and my kids loved the song. Now when my son reads the story, he actually sings it. Having the story in song also helped my son with his reading, he knows the story and can figure out what the words are. The CD also includes a musical version of the song without the words incase your child wants to do his own performance. You can hear a sample of the song on Barefoot Books website, plus they have an animal puppet printout to help you and your kids act out the song.