Big Tractor by Nathan Clement Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Big TractorBig Tractor by Nathan Clement; illustrated by the author; Boyds Mills Press/Highlights, 2015.  32 pages; $16.95 (hardcover); reading level: ages 3-7.

Reminiscent of the human-machine relationship in the 1943 classic Katy and the Big Snow, the farmer in this picture book talks his tractor-friend through the seasons:  he wakes “Ol’ Partner” for spring planting, urges him through the summer chores of mowing and weeding, gives him a rest while the combine takes over, then calls him back to haul the harvest in.  The panoramic two-page spreads (computer-rendered but begun the old-fashioned way with pencil and paper) capture the scale of fields and machines while charming details such as a young boy looking on and a mouse hidden in every illustration add warmth and conversational possibilities to the simple, spare text.  This clear, uncluttered view of a year on a small farm is perfectly-suited for the youngest truck enthusiasts who might also want to take a look at Clement’s earlier books:  Job Site (2011), Drive (2012), and Speed (2013).

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author

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