The latest Tractor Mac board book uses tractors, farm animals, and farm products to teach young children seven basic colors.
Naturally, to illustrate red, the color of Tractor Mac, the protagonist is presented, along with a rooster and barn. Likewise, yellow Carl and green Lucy take turns with other items that share their hues. Sadly, pink and brown are not tractor colors. No matter. Pink is illustrated with a pink radish, a rose, and a pig, while a potato, a goat, and a horse show off brown. A blue truck is shown towing Tractor Mac on a trailer, while orange excavator Doug does unrelated construction work. On the verso of each spread, smaller objects are clearly labeled against a corresponding solid color background. The recto displays the main text and the tractor (or substitute) against a white background. Every label and sentence starts with the name of a color and ends with a rhyme. For example, “Orange is a pumpkin. / Orange is a gourd. / Orange is Doug, who never gets bored.” Each of the machines, as well as the pig and horse, is given a name and assigned human traits. This personification is initially confusing but won’t bother fans of the series.
Clear, uncluttered design makes this age-appropriate board book useful, especially for young fans of big machines. (Board book. 1-3)