A Flying Bath and a Busy Tractor


The Flying Bath
Julia Donaldson and David Roberts
Macmillan Children’s Books
When everyone’s away, the toys will play. The particular toys in question are the bath toys at number 17 where one morning, we see the residents depart, watched by the red plastic duck on the windowsill. Then begins an international rescue operation organized by said duck and his pals, frog and turtle.


First stop is the Australian outback to save a dehydrated kangaroo. But that’s not the only call on the services of the bath – good job they filled up before take off – so it’s,
Wings out, and off we fly.
The flying bath is in the sky!

Next stop – to help the worried bee whose flowers are decidedly droopy; a carefully aimed shower is just the thing there. Next they fly to help a very mucky pig clean up;

then it’s off to extinguish a fire in Baboon’s tree


and finally to rescue a frantic fish from a drought-threatened pond. As night falls the intrepid toys must return home for the children’s bathtime, with a special surprise -an extra member of the gang.


Apart from the occasional word, the entire rhyming text is either in speech bubbles or the repeated chorus, which makes it great for audience participation.
And, as well as a punchy tale, there is a gentle science lesson on the importance of water to life embedded herein.
David Roberts’ illustrations are full of fun: those ‘telephones’ are particularly inspired.

Another rhyming narrative that imparts a gentle lesson is:


Following the Tractor
Susan Steggall
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
We share a farmer’s year through the activities of a bright red tractor and there is plenty to keep it busy   through the seasons. There’s the winter ploughing, sowing the crop,


muck spreading, rescue work


and when summer comes, the harvest tasks such as pulling the grain trailer, the baler and



then the straw trailer back to the farm.
The cleverly composed, brightly coloured collage scenes have much to interest: there are of course, the vehicles but look too at the dog walkers and the various other furred and feathered animals, large and small.


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