Farmer John's Tractor

Overview

Rhyming read-aloud text and atmospheric illustrations tell a satisfying tale of a family stranded in a flood — and a reliable old tractor to the rescue.

Farmer John’s tractor lies locked in the shed,rusty yet trusty and orangey red.
When the rain comes that season, it doesn’t let up, filling the river until it overflows, swirling and rushing and gushing. Down by the river, a car gets stuck, and the family inside shouts for help. As they climb ...

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Overview

Rhyming read-aloud text and atmospheric illustrations tell a satisfying tale of a family stranded in a flood — and a reliable old tractor to the rescue.

Farmer John’s tractor lies locked in the shed,rusty yet trusty and orangey red.
When the rain comes that season, it doesn’t let up, filling the river until it overflows, swirling and rushing and gushing. Down by the river, a car gets stuck, and the family inside shouts for help. As they climb to the roof, a series of vehicles — a speedy jeep, a strong tow truck, even a noisy fire engine — rush one by one to the scene. But each gets more stuck than the last. Is it possible that Farmer John’s ancient tractor, rusty as it is, could still be up for the job?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
A dad, a mom, and their two daughters are out for a ride in the country when a flash flood strands their car in deep water. Who will rescue them? Not the usual suspects: neither the jeep, nor the tow truck, nor the fire engine can pull them out of the water. It is up to Farmer John to unlock his shed and get his old, rusty, orangey red tractor to pull them out to safety. The neglected tractor saves the day, and wins a place in the hearts of everyone. The story is told in rhyming couplets, with a refrain that young readers can easily memorize or read along with. Unlike what passes for rhyme schemes in many picture books, the poetry in this book is true and lyrical. It is obvious that the author has taken the time to create some genuine verse for youngsters. The full-page illustrations are done in soft, pastel colors that are easy on the eyes, and they contribute toward making this a perfect bedtime story. In fact, this rhyming picture book recalls to mind the great classics of the genre. It tells a solid action story with a beginning, middle, and end, and uses a rhyme scheme and illustrations that both boys and girls will be delighted with. This is, in its deceptive simplicity, a great picture book. Reviewer: Leona Illig
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The winter rains are so persistent that the river has swollen and is now starting to flood. A young family of four is caught by surprise and stranded in the car in the shallows of the river. A few kindhearted passersby try to help but find themselves stuck as well. Even a fire engine can't free them from the muck. Farmer John, spotting the turmoil from a distance, finally turns to his old trusty tractor that has been locked up in the shed. But with the waters rapidly rising, the family is worried that this rusty vehicle can't get the job done. This gorgeously illustrated story will enthrall youngsters. The italicized refrain-"Farmer John's tractor lies locked in the shed,/rusty yet trusty and orangey red"-is melodic and gives children a hint at what is to come. The rhyming text flows nicely and is easy to read. The artwork tells the story beautifully and fills the pages with soft, delicate watercolor paintings with a hint of nostalgia. This picture book is terrific as a read-alone or read-aloud and will add a classy touch to any library collection.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE
Kirkus Reviews
Farmer John and his rusty (yet trusty) tractor come to the rescue when more conventional vehicles fall short. It's been a very rainy winter. Farmer John and a flock of sheep, along with his vigilant sheepdog, watch as the riverbanks spill over. It's a flood! Down the river, inside a bright yellow Volkswagen, a family of four sits stranded in the water. A man in a sturdy gray Jeep comes to help, but the vehicle rolls onto its side. Next comes a red tow truck--"strong as can be"--but its wheels spin around in the muck. The truck gets stuck, and the water rises a little higher. Even a fire engine can't get through; the rain's caused a slide, and there are rocks in the mud. All this time, Farmer John's tractor has been locked in his shed, rusty but ready to work. He springs into action; the tractor splutters and starts with a roar. In short order, his big wheels plow through the water and right up to the sinking car. "Hop in!" he cries, and the family squeezes together. They're safe. Farmer John has saved the day. Sutton's muscular rhyming text turns the tractor into a folk hero, and Belton's watercolor illustrations add a dreamy quality. Great for "rusty yet trusty" grandparents to read to adoring grandchildren. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763664305
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 362,812
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Sutton is a playwright and the author of Roadwork and Demolition, both illustrated by Brian Lovelock, along with other picture books. Sally Sutton lives in New Zealand.

Robyn Belton is one of New Zealand’s best known and most celebrated children’s illustrators and has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Margaret Mahy Medal.

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