Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Billy Steers
Illustrator: Billy Steers
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Stony Meadow Farm has a great watermelon patch, and Farmer Bill is excited to grow a big melon to enter in the Fruit and Vegetable Show. But watermelons take a long time to grow. Pete, the pig, and his brother, Paul, want to make them to grow faster and try to help. By the time they finished, most of the patch was ruined. With the encouragement of Tractor Mac and the other animals, the pigs find a small melon plant and learn how to care for it and to be patient while it grows. Their melon turns into a real beauty, and Farmer Bill is able to enter it in the show and it won!
Tractor Mac books are a favorite with an imaginative story and a good message. Life on a farm has a special appeal with barnyard animals and the fascination of growing things. The characters in the story are warm and likable, and quickly become our friends. Tractor Mac and the animals are supportive and encouraging, helping to teach a gentle lesson of being patient; some things are worth the wait. We learn with the pigs the satisfaction of working towards a goal and the triumph of reaching it. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, with many charming animals and colorful details. Inside the front cover and back cover are more informational pictures of a watermelon plant and the parts of a tractor, for children with inquiring minds. A great read for little ones.