Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: Busy Wheels series by Mandy Archer and Martha Lightfoot

Digger to the Rescue

Each $8.95 (PB)

Race Car is Roaring

Tractor Saves the Day

Fire Truck is Flashing

Monster Truck Mountain Rescue!

It's time to get busy with machines that roar, whizz, vroom, and zoom! The stories feature a popular vehicle as the central character, and involve a group of animal characters in a supporting role. A detailed spread on different parts of the vehicle will help children understand what makes up the machines and will help familiarize them with vehicle vocabulary.

Each of my review copies is marked "UK Edition", so there may be a few differences if purchased in the US. I noticed "driving seat" where we would say "driver's seat", and "stabiliser" vs. "stabilizer", but nothing that would really confuse a young child fascinated with vehicles - and that pretty much means all of them!

If nothing else, the differences are a great way to build vocabulary beyond that intended. You can even get into figures of speech, and how they can differ from country to country, or even region to region. I kind of prefer them with the British terminology and spelling, myself, for just that reason. 

Each vehicle goes through its normal tasks - building a playground, fighting a fire - and then some find another adventure, such as rescuing a kitten from a tree, or a climber on a mountainside. The animal characters work well for the younger audience, although it seemed odd to have a dog herding cows into the barn via tractor, rather than barking at them! The stories, fonts, illustrations, and design are all sure to please young readers who just can't get enough of anything with wheels.

The review copies I have are paperback, and I have the feeling they will literally be read to pieces if I try to put them in our collection, so they will reappear later as summer reading prizes. Hard covers are available, however, and you can order them directly from the publisher at this link. Other vehicles featured include Police Car, Ambulance, Dump(er) Truck, Plane, Train, School Bus, and Space Shuttle (not all available in the US yet).

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