Wheely Books – My First Tractor vs. Wheelie Puppy

So… I saw these and I just couldn’t resist reviewing them. Well, can you blame me? They have wheels!

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781409333807
Published: 1/7/2013

So the first wheely book tonight is Wheelie Puppy, as you can see above. A very basic baby book, this has no story and is simply large pictures of various animals on each page.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd as per usual with DK, the pictures aren’t (like so many other baby books with animals in them) cartoons but are actually photos of animal toys you could find lurking round any playroom. A rather neat touch is that each of the animals in this book (there are 8 altogether) has their sound written out next to them too, my especial favourite being the dinosaur above (Roar! Roar!).

On the practical side, the book is very sturdy with the pages being made from very thick cardboard and the book is kept sealed by a neat little velcro tab. This is especially useful I cna tell you when you do what you really want to do with it – roll it! The velcro keeps the book from flapping over mid-wheel, and the wheels themselves are made from plastic and are fixed very securly to the book. I’ve seen these kinds of books before and they do ahve the unfortunate tendancy to having fairly easy-to-detach wheels, but these ones looks extremely resistant to little hands. The fact that they’re plastic also means they should roll over more surfaces than the cardboard counterparts that are the norm, especially carpet.

Which brings me onto the next wheelby book I couldn’t resist – My First Tractor, part of the Whizzy Wheels series by Marion Billet.

Publisher: Cambell Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780230768642
Published: 4/7/2013

This one does have cardboard wheels but, again unlike others I’ve seen they are fixed very firmly onto the book. In fact, the one I had I had to work the wheels a little to really get them spinning round easily.

This wheely book also has a bit more to it than Wheelie Puppy, so is probably suitable for slightly older children, perhaps toddlers. Each page is a scene from a farm or the country with simple observations on the scene to serve as the story.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m especially fond of the nice noisy sounds dotted about the pages, or the neat little questions for each scene:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGo on – how many chickens can you see? I can see at least one, excercising his racing legs…

This is a book that’s not so much aimed at storytelling rather at giving your little one plenty to look at. It’s a handy one to sling under the buggy or whip out when you need them occupied for a moment, with the added bonus that it doubles as a tractor toy as well as a book. There are a couple of other similar books from Campbell like this, including one shaped like a London bus, a taxi and a digger.

So, both pretty nifty little books with colourful eye-catching pages and plenty to occupy little ones, but here’s the real question – how do they race?

Oh come on, tell me you haven’t seen these sorts of books in the book shop and not wanted to have a wee race?

A gentler touch required than my glamourous assistant maybe, although I can say from furthur tests that both roll along just fine with a gentle push, but not so far as to leave you dodging miniature tractors and wheeled dogs across the living room carpet. Great fun and a nice way to play about with a book and get more from it. You could always set up your own wheely book race at home too (and please tell me who won if you do)!

Regardless, both are definately worth a look (even if I did fib a little with the titanium wheels).

Find Wheelie Puppy here and My First Tractor here.

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