Four on the run by Sophie Masson

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Illus. by Cheryl Orsini. Christmas Press, 2020. ISBN: 9780648194576.
(Age: 5-8 years) Four on the run is a simple and entertaining story about four old and rusty friends living in a barn on a farm after their owner Mrs Brown has saved them from the scrap heap. Maxie is shaped like a beetle, Lady is long with fins, Flash is a motorbike and Fergie a tractor. All have their own special personalities. They are worried that Mrs Brown is having money troubles and think she is going to sell them. The four decide to escape from the barn and travel to the nearest town and find a job. Their first attempt at being musicians does not go well and the police car is after them. They are rounded up by a pack of dogs and taken to the Monster Truck Show where Crusher befriends them for his own dangerous purpose. Fortunately, the four friends cleverly outwit the monster trucks and Mrs Brown comes to their rescue. A surprise offer comes their way and the story ends happily.
This is a perfect read aloud for Junior Primary students as it is short and will appeal to children who could easily imagine that vehicles may be able to talk. Those younger readers who are progressing to independently reading novels will find the larger text and repetition of key words an asset to reading fluently. The clever illustrations by Cheryl Orsini provide extra interest and support to the reader. An activity pack is available. Themes: Friendship, Humour, Adventure, Farms.
Kathryn Beilby