Moving is a big change enough, so when the child at the center of this story is told that, on top of it all, he cannot bring his ‘mate, bestie and right-hand man’ tractor along to his new city house, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back: you would have to be crazy to not realize how useful, fun and really town-friendly a tractor can be!
A passionate cry for the great outdoors and the exciting adventures it offers, Not Without My Tractor! is a read full of spunk: Heinrich and Zipfel’s text (translated by Siobhán Parkinson) is contagiously funny and perfectly conveys the wittiness and persuasion children can use to convince grown-ups and, as is the case here, arrive at their ends. This child certainly doesn’t lack arguments when it comes to defend his case!
With their bright orange and blue tones and bold black strokes, Kirschner’s illustrations are full of energy. Although one might expect more traditional green shades to evoke nature, the contrasting colours picked here bring country and town together in a most original way and add to the idea of the child imagination at work. Meanwhile, the large paint-swatch like strokes perfectly illustrate the messy, vibrant energy of life in nature. Kirschner’s ‘loud’ spreads are a perfect match to the delightfully irreverent personality of our young protagonist.
Not Without My Tractor! is a charmingly cheeky read, and children aged 5+ will fall in love with this bad-mannered protagonist and fervent defender of the great outdoors.