cover image The Day Patch Stood Guard

The Day Patch Stood Guard

Elizabeth Laird. Tambourine Books, $11.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10239-5

The daily comings and goings on Gosling Farm may not amount to much in the scheme of things but, like veterinarian James Herriot's Yorkshire escapades, therein lies their charm. This pair of gentle stories, the initial offerings in the Little Red Tractor series, are modest in scope, played out on the small canvas of English farm life. Duncan the red tractor and his owner, Stan, get into the kinds of scrapes one might expect in such a bucolic setting--an escaped piglet, a smash-up against a tree, a young sheepdog testing his mettle. Reeder's whimsical watercolors are laced with humor and skillfully reflect the pastoral scenes--most especially in the case of an otter on a riverbank at twilight. As a promising start for what looks to be an appealing series, these books should have no problem finding an enthusiastic audience. Ages 3-up. (Mar . )