All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors (Davina Bell, illus by Jenny Løvlie, Little Hare)
A little boy called Frankie, accompanied by his mother, visits the library and borrows his favourite book about tractors. He is already well versed in all the characteristics and functions of tractors, but despite his mother’s imploring he pick something different, he insists on sticking with his vehicle of choice. Told in rhyme, with humorous twists (the mother is reminded by the librarian to keep her voice down), Davina Bell has written a story that is not only reassuringly familiar but also funny and fresh. Jenny Løvlie’s illustrations are sprightly and colourful, extending the text with lots of detail that enriches the world on the page. There is a strong sense of place and community in the book with the retro feel of the illustrations, and an almost toy-like quality to some of the scenes—in contrast to the very real facts about tractors that the little boy relishes. All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors is enjoyable in every way: it’s really fun to read aloud and beautiful (with lovely endpapers) to look at. It also reminds us of the value of libraries and the books within, but most definitely not in a didactic or preachy way.
Louise Pfanner is an author, illustrator and bookseller