Whoa. Picking up the book was a bit like stepping in a time machine… There I was, back to being giddy and sleep-deprived with a sicky muslin on my shoulder, a newborn in my arms and a three-year-old tractor obsessive making me read Tractor Ted in Springtime for the MILLIONTH TIME.
Driven by my son’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge, we learnt everything about tractors. I’m a farmer’s daughter, but I soon knew NOTHING compared to him. He loved front loader diggers, back hoe loaders, double-wheel tractors and caterpillar tracks. He knew his Masseys from his Fords from his John Deere’s and his Claas as well as the niche McCormick. I once embarrassed myself by exclaiming to a colleague, on the way to a meeting, “Tractor there!” when we passed one, so complete was my indoctrination to cult tractor.
We were in deep, and there was nothing better than the Tractor Ted series, although he did enjoy a browse through the pages of Farmer’s Weekly. He liked the proper, accurate farm detail of Tractor Ted. I liked the non-cutesy approach – like piles of steaming manure and real animals. His Tractor Ted top was worn to death. I couldn’t agree more with the Amazon review of Tractor Ted All About Tractors, describing it as the “seminal work for infant tractor fanatics.”
Back to now, and I’ve just picked up the new series of Tractor Ted books, which I have been asked to review. My two still hold a fondness for Tractor Ted, but are no longer the target audience. For this, I needed the plethora of pre-school cousins that we are blessed with.
We looked at Who Goes Moo? and Toot Toot, both of which are a move towards story books, rather than the more factual series, but they are still packed with real life images and real life educational farm facts. I’d say they are more suitable for the younger end of pre-school, say age 1-3. A gateway to full farm, detail hungry obsession. Tractor Ted himself features more, as does a cute dog. They are fun, friendly reads.
The Munchy Crunchy DVD will also prove popular with all pre-schoolers, and because it is genuinely so educational, then maybe that removes an iota or two of the guilt that comes with plonkage in front of the box.
You know what, I miss those simple days when a double-wheeled tractor sighting and Tractor Ted books were all we needed to be happy and occupied. Before Minecraft and hoverboard cravings, before being cool mattered and he’d avoid walking anywhere near embarrassing mum because she’s wearing a knit that looks like a cricket jumper (honestly, it’s a nice jumper!).
Ah, you know what, if you are in those tractor and farm-loving days, it may have degrees of tedium, but soak it up and feed their interest. It will be gone all too quickly.
To find out more about Tractor Ted, check out their website, which also has lots of lovely downloadables in the Funzone: www.tractorted.co.uk
I was sent the newest Tractor Ted books and DVD in exchange for an honest review.