Review Blog

Jun 15 2012

Farmer John's tractor by Sally Sutton

cover image

Illustrated by Robyn Belton. Walker Books Australia. ISBN: 9781921150944.
Farmer John's tractor lies locked in the shed, rusty yet trusty, and orangey red . . .
So begins a story with beautiful cadence, touching simplicity, gorgeously soft illustrations, and a powerful, yet subtle message.
It's winter, and the rains come, filling the river and blocking the drains. The banks burst, and the river is in flood. Mum, Dad and the girls are trying to cross the river, and they become stranded.
Various vehicles try and come to the rescue - the jeep comes, but rolls on its side. The tow truck comes, but gets stuck in the muck. The girls are frightened, the water is rising, and STILL, Farmer John's tractor lies locked in the shed.
The fire engine comes, and proves just as useless - the little girls are now standing on the roof of the car, where they start to shake and quake and sob - just when it seems like all is lost, aid comes from an unlikely corner, and all is well again.
I read this book to a reluctant four year old. It was a joy to watch his face as I read - he was really drawn in to the plot of the story, and the suspense was palpable. The illustrations are magnificent, and really support the story.
A beautiful book, with a wonderful message - sometimes the quiet, unassuming, and unlikely hero is the one that saves the day.
Freya Lucas

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