Sunday, December 14, 2014

Backhoe Joe by Lori Alexander; illustrated by Craig Cameron

Nolan is collecting a few rocks one day when he hears a noise and turns around to find a stray backhoe in the middle of the street!  Nolan has always wanted a pet backhoe, and here is his chance - but first he has to convince the reluctant backhoe to come out of the bushes and trust him long enough to follow him home.  After winning over his new friend Nolan takes him home - only to find out that his parents are not so keen on the idea of an untrained backhoe around the house.  What will Nolan do, will he find a way to keep his new pet?

The cliche of the child saying a stray dog "followed me home and can I keep him" is given a delightful new twist with Backhoe Joe, where the stray "pet" takes a rather unexpected form.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I saw how carefully Nolan coaxes Joe out of the bushes and takes him home - it reminds me very much of a small ginger kitten I found when I was walking my dogs that ended up in my hoodie and taken home to "safety".  Like Nolan I wasn't able to keep the kitten, but this hilarious reminder had me smiling the whole way through.

If you have a pet mad child, if you love laugh out loud reads, or if you have a strange yearning to have your own backhoe pet then Backhoe Joe may be the perfect book for you.  I shared this with some of my colleagues and they loved it as much as I did - especially the dad with three boys!  This is one of those great books that works really well as a read aloud to an audience, or one on one to your own little person - and the best part is it wont date too badly because a backhoe is a backhoe and the clothing is pretty generic in terms of eras.  I loved this book and hope you will too.

If you like this book then try:
  • If I had a raptor by George O'Connor
  • Barnaby Bennett by Hannah Rainforth; illustrated by Ali Teo
  • Elephants cannot dance! by Mo Willems
  • Blue chicken by Deborah Freedman
  • New socks by Bob Shea
  • Wait! No paint! by Bruce Whately
  • I need my monster by Amanda Noll; illustrated by Howard McWilliam
  • Giggle, giggle, quack by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Betsy Lewin
  • Press here by Herv√© Tullet
  • Cushie Butterfield (she's a little cow) by Colin McNaughton
  • If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond
  • Don't push the button! by Bill Cotter
  • The monster at the end of this book by Jon Stone
  • Shout! Shout it out! by Denise Fleming

Reviewed by Brilla

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