Farmer John’s Tractor

Farmer John's Tractor is a beautifully illustrated and gentle story of a family stranded in a flood and their subsequent rescue. A delightful read-aloud tale and wonderful gift for 3-8 year olds. Buy from Amazon: (affiliate link)

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That winter the rain comes. It rains and it rains. It fills up the river and blocks up the drains.

It is raining heavily as I write this. There’s something very pleasant about cuddling up on a couch on a wet day. Nice and dry, with story about other people in a flood.

Farmer John's Tractor, by Sally Sutton
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A beautifully illustrated, classic story about a family whose car gets stuck in a flood, and the vehicles that attempt to rescue them. A lovely, lyrical rhyming read. Better as a read aloud than an independent read. Reccommended for ages 3-8.

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This book has a really nice rhythm for a read aloud. And every so often the repeated refrain.

Farmer John’s tractor lies locked in the shed. Rusty yet trusty and orangey red.

The premise of the story is that a family gets stuck in the flood waters, and various vehicles/people come to rescue them, the jeep, the tow truck, and the fire engine. But in the end it’s the old rusty tractor and Farmer John who come to the rescue.

One observation I have about children’s books is that illustrations  make a huge difference. The lyrical words of this story, although beautiful, would tell quite a different story if the illustrations showed comical vehicle characters with faces. But the beautiful watercolours show interesting and engaging people with each vehicle as their support act. The scenario comes more alive to me, with people as the heroes.

The children like it, and will choose it and there will be repeat readings, but it’s not an absolute favourite. I think this is down to the gentle rhythm and colour scheme of the book. Unfortunately, the Young Engineer is always drawn the most to the bright colourful, cheaply made, factual books, with photos. And Action Man currently loves the Cars movie and similar cartoony characters appearing in his books. But to me this book is a classic that we will revisit over time.

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