Frankie visits the library with his mother to borrow some books, not just any old books though, he wants books about tractors! His long suffering mother, however, tries to persuade him to borrow books about other forms of transport, but nothing can be as good as a tractor book. Many alternatives are suggested, and Frankie comes back with a reason why tractors are just so much better, with what they can do, the colours and brands, and how they help people. Miss Squid the librarian is just happy to see “a boy who likes books”.
Many parents and young readers will identify with Frankie and his mother. The rhyming text and busy illustrations will keep young readers entertained, especially fans of tractors. Parents and careers will also recognise a young one borrowing their favourite book, again and again, and being able to recite it word for word.
There are many, many good aspects about this book, however I do have a problem with the portrayal of the librarian! Having worked in a public library for about eight years, as young people’s librarian, I never told any child or parent to keep their voices down while they were browsing and selecting books.The children’s sections in public libraries are vibrant and lively, with children as excited as Frankie. I am also a little uncomfortable with the statement “A boy who likes books is a nice thing to see”, as I feel it stereotypes boys into not liking books. However, I have just been researching boys and reading for the last year or two, and I may be a little over sensitive when it comes to this type of thing! I can relate to Miss Squid enjoying young people’s love books so much, as this is one of the best things about being a librarian!
Overall, this book will be enjoyed by many and will be a welcome addition to public and school libraries.
Many thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for supplying this book for review.