Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Matilda’s book reviews – Goodnight tractor and Ladybird books giveaway

I was sent a copy of Goodnight Tractor free of charge, but all words and opinions here are my own. Besides have you ever tried to force a toddler to like something?

I recently wrote a guest post for Ladybird books about what it’s like being a dad and reading to your children. As you may have guessed from these book review posts it’s a topic I’m quite passionate about and reading to both Matilda and Henry is definitely one of my favourite bits of each day. Not only is it good for their development it’s also a lot of fun telling a story and interacting with them.

Following that post Puffin (who are also part of the Penguin group with Ladybird) have kindly sent Matilda a new book called Goodnight tractor and perhaps more importantly for you some books for me to giveaway. You can find all the details at the bottom of the post, but first the review!

Goodnight TractorI’m always wary of new books, many seem to fall short of the high standards set by the classics and seem to often be a bit simple or basic. But we all actually really like Goodnight Tractor, it has a really simple story of a child putting his toys to bed but actually creates a lot of fun and interaction when read. It has a nice rhyming lilt to it which always pleases me for these sort of books, that sing song style of reading you fall into simply feels nice.

What Matilda particularly likes is that it features lots of animals on the farm so she can practise her moo and oink oink each time. She is also a bit obsessed by tractors, not least because there is a farm 30 metres from our garden and she can spend all day stood on the slide watching them. I’ve also been reading this book with Henry who is starting to say a few words and can make a clip clop noise for a horse with his tongue.

Inside goodnight tractorThe final piece to the jigsaw is the illustrations which thankfully are not bold and brash colours, in fact they almost remind me of a Raymond Briggs book in the colourings and style. This is a big book so you get great full double page spread pictures with the words overwritten rather than separate. I think this makes for a great reading experience for the age that Matilda and Henry are and ensures that they keep engaged.

Now I’m sure you are all dying to know how you can get your hands on some books of your own. Ladybird sent me a big pile of books so I’m going to split it into 2 prizes. The books are aimed at children aged around 2-3 but of course no reason you can’t use for slightly older or younger. In order to win one of the prizes all you need is to leave a comment answering the question below before the competition closes on Monday 1st July at 8pm, (please include your twitter ID or email so I can contact you if you win). Simple! Of course if you enjoy these posts and you want to subscribe to my blog via email or RSS I’m not going to complain. I’ll then pick 2 comments at random to win a pack of books each.

If you could read books to your children by only one author who would that author be and why?

Note this competition is open to UK entrants only, competition closes on Monday 1st July at 8pm where 2 comments will be chosen at random to win the prizes. No cash alternative is offered.

Pile of Ladybird books


  1. Roald Dahl! Simply magic, whatever age. My husband started reading them to us when I was pregnant, then through breast feeding. Wonderful time as a little family listening to wonderful stories. Can’t wait for boy to read them himself when he’s older. Sara Goodwin x

  2. sabrina montagnoli

    June 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I’m going to be honest that is a tough question! Wow! We tend to have favourite books over favourite authors. So I’m going to be honest and go with our current theme of Julia Donaldson who has taken over our house! We honestly have not read a story of hers that we have not liked and I mean the whole family, mummy, daddy and child. We love how they rhyme and the actual stories are always very interesting with great themes that we love. Our favourites at the minute are Stick Man, The Snail and the Whale and Monkey Puzzle. My wee man knows the words by heart to some of these already and at only 2 I find that pretty impressive!

  3. I think it would be Roald Dahld. He was one of my favourite authors when I was little and all his books have so much imagination. Probably start with the BFG! 🙂

  4. Helen Hickman

    June 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Oh, tricky question! Based on the ages of my children I’d have to say Julia Donaldson. They love her books so much, and Axel Scheffler’s illustrations of course. We enjoy reading the books to them because you can tell how much they enjoy the stories. And I secretly quite enjoy doing silly voices for the different characters!
    Helen (@timewasting on twitter)

  5. My children aren’t old enough for Roald Dahl yet although that would be the obvious answer when they get a big bigger. I think I might have to choose Shirley Hughes for the age they are at right now, she was my favourite when I was little and I love reading her stories to my two now.

  6. TheBrickCastle

    July 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I’d say definitely Julia Donaldson 🙂

  7. Lucinda Barton

    July 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    It would have to be Enid Blyton! Such a variety of work and variety of ages from Noddy to the far away tree through the totally brilliant famous five! Perfect for two boys!

  8. It’s a difficult one!! I will say julia donaldson

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