Loren Long

Book - 2009

When a big new yellow tractor arrives, Otis the friendly little tractor is cast away behind the barn, but when trouble occurs Otis is the only one who can help.

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Picture books
New York : Philomel Books/Penguin 2009.
Main Author
Loren Long (-)
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 28 x 29 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Long has illustrated many children's books but now offers just his second picture book as both author and artist. Otis, a cuddly little tractor, likes to work hard on the farm all day, boisterously blow off steam among the haystacks, and then fall asleep with a putt puff puttedy chuff in the old barn. A baby calf comes to the barn, and the two become fast friends, frolicking in the fields together. When a bigger, better tractor arrives, Otis gets stuck out in the weeds, but he proves his mettle when he rescues the calf from a mud hole. There's a definite whiff of The Little Engine That Could (which Long has also illustrated) in this tale of a plucky anthropomorphic tractor, but the value of friendship is the real lesson. Long's terrific fluid artwork, done in gouache and pencil, will entertain kids with the humor-laced depictions of the feisty work machine's romps, and tug at little heartstrings as he mopes about unwanted. Perhaps even more, the tale's smoothly rounded nostalgic flare will charm adults tasked with reading the tale aloud.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers of classic children's books will find traces of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Little Toot and The Story of Ferdinand in this story of "a friendly little tractor." Otis the tractor loves to work as much as he loves to play. When he snores in the barn, his "soft putt puff puttedy chuff" consoles a motherless calf. Otis and the calf become pals, and Long (who re-illustrated The Little Engine That Could) pictures them sitting under a tree in Ferdinand the bull's iconic pose. Yet this idyll cannot last. Otis's owner (no loyal Mike Mulligan) purchases a huge "brand-new yellow tractor" and puts Otis out to pasture, where "the weeds began to cover his tires." Only when the calf gets stuck in a muddy pond does Otis rev to the rescue. Long fashions Otis's headlamps as eyes and accents the charcoal gray and fawn brown gouache with apple red, buttery yellow and denim blue. Resurrecting stories of sweet machines aiding helpless animals is not easy in an era concerned with fossil fuels and feedlots, but Long's story should inspire readers to revisit old favorites. Ages 3-5. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Otis is a fun-loving tractor who roams the fields after a hard day's work and plays in the haystacks. In the barn one night, his engine provides a gentle purr that helps a frightened young calf fall into a peaceful sleep. The two become inseparable. That is, until the farmer decides to upgrade and brings home a brand-new, shiny yellow tractor and relegates Otis to the weeds behind the building. Having outlived his usefulness, Otis just sits there, impervious to the calf's call to play. But when his friend gets stuck in Mud Pond and no one-not even the fire department-can pull her out, the feisty tractor revs his engine ("putt puff puttedy chuff") and saves the day. His heroism and concern for a friend are themes that will appeal to young readers. Long's gouache and pencil artwork is stunning with a red and cream main character against a sepia-toned monochromatic background. The overall effect is nostalgic and comforting as readers bond with the determined little tractor. In the end, Otis finds a place on the farm where his engine's soft purr can be put to good use. This satisfying conclusion that speaks of a place for everyone is sure to ring true to children.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Continuing to find inspiration in the work of Virginia Lee Burton, Munro Leaf and other illustrators of the past, Long (The Little Engine That Could, 2005) offers an aw-shucks friendship tale that features a small but hardworking tractor ("putt puff puttedy chuff") with a Little Tootstyle face and a big-eared young descendant of Ferdinand the bull who gets stuck in deep, gooey mud. After the big new yellow tractor, crowds of overalls-clad locals and a red fire engine all fail to pull her out, the little tractor (who had been left behind the barn to rust after the arrival of the new tractor) comes putt-puff-puttedy-chuff-ing down the hill to entice his terrified bovine buddy successfully back to dry ground. Short on internal logic but long on creamy scenes of calf and tractor either gamboling energetically with a gaggle of McCloskey-like geese through neutral-toned fields or resting peacefully in the shade of a gnarled tree (apple, not cork), the episode will certainly draw nostalgic adults. Considering the author's track record and influences, it may find a welcome from younger audiences too. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.