Book Review: Tractor Mac Tune Up

Tractor Mac gets sick and needs to see the Photo: Billy Steers

SILVER SPRING, MD, February 23, 2013 – Tractor Mac Tune Up by Bill Steers  ISBN:9780982687024

Tractor Mac works on a farm with Farmer Bill. One day, while out in the fields, Tractor Mac feels a pain and he starts going “chunka-chunka” instead of “chugga-chugga.” Farmer Bill says that Mac does not sound good and he needs to call the tractor doctor. 

When the tractor doctor arrives, he examines Mac and says he cannot be fixed there in the field,  instructing Farmer Bill to bring Tractor Mac to his shop the next day. Tractor Mac is towed back to the barn where he tells the animals he is scared to go to the “hospital” because he is afraid he cannot be fixed and will be sold off for spare parts.

His friends reassure him, and the next day Mac is towed into town. Even the other tractors in the lot of the repair shop tell him not to worry. The mechanic gives Tractor Mac a tune up and before long he is running like new.

In a storybook landscape filled with trains and dump trucks, Tractor Mac is a great alternative for the machine oriented child. He also helps fill a void in the market adding a farm voice and will be appealing to farm families or parents who are raising children in rural areas since a tractor who lives in a barn might be more relatable than a train that lives in a roundhouse.  

As fear of doctors is common among young children, this book also can help children who may have that fear. Tractor Mac is afraid to go to the “tractor doctor” even though he does not feel well, but in the end he feels better and nothing bad happened to him. This describes a typical trip to the pediatrician and might be able to be used proactively to reassure a timid child. The writing is simple enough that young children will understand and be engaged by the story. The publisher recommends ages 3-5, but depending on the child, this may be good for those as young as 2.

One thing that really makes this book different, and great for little boys who love trucks, cars or any machine, is that under the cover there is a diagram of a tractor and a tractor engine with all the parts labeled. So, when your curious little one says, “what’s that,” you can answer.

The artwork is well suited to the story, and all the machines are drawn to be characters even if they are just sitting in the lot, and a full assortment of friendly farm animals complete the cast of characters who make up Tractor Mac’s world.

Published in 2011 by Tractor Mac, LLC, Tractor Mac Tune Up is a recently addition to the Tractor Mac series of books, the first two of which were published by The Little Golden Books series. The story is available as a hardcover and an ebook.

 

Follow Brighid on Twitter a @BrighidMoret and receive updates when new columns post on Facebook or Google+. Read more about first time parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times. Find more reviews of children’s picture books at Big Reads For Little Hands.

 


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Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer and first time mother.  She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  Find her on Facebook @Brighid Moret

 

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