Thursday 28 March 2013

Busy Wheels

Busy Wheels series by Mandy Archer, illustrated by Martha Lightfoot (Scholastic Australia)
 Digger to the Rescue
ISBN: 978-1-74283-509-9
Fire Engine is Flashing
ISBN: 978-1-74283-510-5
Racing Car is Roaring
ISBN: 978-1-74283-511-2
Tractor Saves the Day
ISBN: 978-1-74283-512-9
PB RRP $9.99 each
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

The new Busy Wheels series is a set of four energetic picture books which will appeal strongly to young boys and girls. Filled with sound and movement each book outlines a day-in-the-life story of various vehicles and machinery.

The text highlights words such as chugs, blustery, and thumbs up, as well as simple everyday words which children know and use. Sounds such as squelch, beep beep, nee-naw, wwoooshh, all emphasise the noises children love and they can easily be associated with these working machines.

The illustrations are busy and place the specific vehicle firmly in the centre of the story as a character, along with its operator. The colours are strong and bright but the soft edges create a friendly environment.

In Digger to the Rescue, Bear and Digger start their day helping to build a playground, then end up rescuing a cat from a tree.

Fire Engine is Flashing is a story about Fox and Fire Engine working to put out fires and save lives. The text and pictures emphasise a sense of urgency without being dramatic.

In Racing Car is Roaring, Rabbit and Racing Car race and win the championship. Again, the speed and excitement are well conveyed.

And in Tractor Saves the Day, Dog works his way through all his farm duties, showcasing the versatility of Tractor.

All four books have a good amount of detail which should satisfy most young truck lovers. At the end of each story is a page illustrating the vehicle in a “Let’s look at...” section where specific parts of the machine are detailed. The last page illustrates similar machines such as ‘Other Farm Machines’ and ‘Other Emergency Machines’.

There are many young children who love to watch diggers, trucks and other machinery at work. This series will be hugely popular with these mechanically minded kids.

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