I have to admit, our two year old son has far too many books. I'm a bookworm and my mum has worked in a library for over 30 years so him not being a lover of books just wasn't an option! Luckily he takes after me, rather than my husband who's idea of reading a book is looking at the comic strip in the paper. Anyway, as I say he has a lot of books, he has four shelves full of them. We try to read a new one each night but despite how exciting we try and make other books, he still requests Jack's Tractor before he goes to sleep (or "Jack's tatta" as he calls it). It's his favourite by far and has become part of our bedtime routine.
It was my mum who bought this book, purely I think because our son's name is Jack. The story is about a little boy who who goes on an adventure on his tractor, travelling through various places and picking up noisy creatures on the way.
This book is great for reading out loud - it's rhythmic and each little verse on each page rhymes. Think Slinky Malinky or Hairy McClairy and you wouldn't be far off (if you've never read these that comment will mean nothing...sorry!) Because it rhymes it's more memorable so at the end of each verse my son fills in the word, making the book interactive.
There are 32 pages but only four rhyming lines on each page so it doesn't become boring. My son can often get a bit restless if a story goes on for too long.
On each page Jack visits a new location and meets new noisy animals and creatures. The use of the noises of each animal help make the book more entertaining - our little one loves adding his own "heeee haaaaw" for the donkey and "sqwaaaaaark!" for the parrot. It's not just animals that Jack meets, he also meets a "ticklesaur". This is our son's favourite page! He giggles before we have even read about the ticklesaur saying "tickle pickle", as he knows he's going to get a tickle himself!
The first half of the book is noisy, and the pictures are bold and eye catching which is great for capturing little ones' attention. Half way through the book Jack decides it is time to go home as it is getting dark but realises he does not know the way. Luckily a little mouse comes to the rescue and directs them home. The mouse explains -
"Listen now that night has come you mustn't make such noise, it's bedtime now we need our sleep, yes, even little boys!". This is my favourite line in the book!
The second half of the book is more subdued and the animals no longer make a riot, and instead are sleepy and quiet. We often read this half of the book in a whisper and it's great for winding down our excitable little one.
This book is great for little boys, it's noisy, chaotic and adventurous - everything our son loves! I do consider it to be more of a book aimed at boys due to phrases such as "just the sort of noisy sound that pleases little boys" and the above quote about needing sleep.
This is by far our son's favourite book and to be honest, I really don't mind because I enjoy reading it to him! It could be a lot worse, there are ome truly tedious kids books out there!
After a trip to our local library a couple of weeks ago we picked up a copy of Jack's tractor by Thomas Taylor for my son. My son has been a huge fan of tractors since he discovered Tractor Tom at just one years old and as we live in a semi rural area we do often get to see tractors driving around which reinforces his love of these vehicles..
The book has a recommended retail price of £10.99 but is available on Amazon for £9.89 with free supersaver delivery.
The Front of the book is a picture of jack sat on his red tractor with a trailer full of strange looking animals.
The story is about a boy who goes on a noisy tractor ride around the world and like many little boys is attracted to the noisiest animals and picks them up and puts them in his tractor's trailer. Some of the animals collected include a donkey, walrus, lion and my son's favourite a wriggly ticklesaur from the prehistoric glade who says tickle-pickle. All the places visited are genuine places such as the Antarctic with the exception of the prehistoric glade.
Once the trailer is full he decides it is late and decides it is time to go home but realises he is lost. He is helped to find his way home by a small mouse who reminds them as it is late they need to be quiet. Each animal is returned to their home. Finally jack returns home and goes up to bed at this point you discover that it was all in his imagination and these animals and his toy tractor go to bed with him.
The story is written in lyrical verse and is littered with sounds to fit into the story. My favourite line from the book is when he starts up his tractor "it is just the sort of noisy sound that pleases little boys" .There are elements of this story that remind me of my son and does show Jack to be a happy little boy playing with his favourite toys and using his imagination.
The book is illustrated by John Kelly. On the first page prior to the beginning of the book is a picture of a field with tractor marks on. My son loves this simple drawing and will follow the track marks with his finger until I cajole him into starting the story. The pictures are colourful. The animals have a very weird appearance and look like a combination between realistic images but also with cartoon features. Thy all have the same goggle eyes. The picture of the bear I first thought looked like it was a racoon but my son pointed out it was a bear. Whilst the backgrounds are not very detailed they do give an impression of the habitat of the area they live. Finally at the end of the story you do see the same field as was shown at the beginning of the book only in darkness.
While I do not really like the images of the animals as I would prefer them to look more lifelike the illustrations do enhance the book and make it easier for a young child to understand the difference between night and day, the habitats of various animals. Without the illustrations it would not be clear that his animals are his toys that sleep in his bed and the tractor is simply a small toy tractor.
My son really enjoys the book and will walk around the house saying "tickle pickle, brum brum" .The book is one of the longer books I read to him as it is 32 pages long and does have about four short lines of text on each page but does hold his attention as there is so much happening in both the story and the illustrations.
This book is highly recommended by both my son and I. I would think it would be more likely to be enjoyed by boys than girls.
It was published in 2009 by Hodder children's books