Friday, February 19, 2016

Winter Reading 2016 Putter and the Red Car: A Cross-Country Family Adventure


Books about dogs and cars are always popular with young readers. This has the bonus of being the story of a family road trip that is narrated by their dog, Putter. The trip takes place as the family moves from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington. The stopping point for each day's journey is given, and any famous sites along the way are pointed out. Putter also enjoys telling us about the "firsts" that he experiences on the trip - his first time in a hotel, first time in an elevator, and first time inside a real tipi are all shared. He also tells some of his favorite parts of the adventure such as having a hamburger for lunch, visiting a friend in Chicago, and getting to push the buttons on the elevator. He also mentions the disappointment of heavy rain preventing them from seeing Mt. Rushmore as they pass through South Dakota, and many of us can sympathize with similar experiences during a vacation or visit.

For families who are preparing for their own move to a new home, this would be a wonderful story to use for dealing with fears about the move. It would also work well to introduce some of the things that may take place during a long road trip - staying in hotels, eating out, spending hours in the car each day, etc. I can imagine a class studying geography and mapping out the trip across the United States, or a math class calculating the distance traveled each day. Students might be inspired to create their own stories about moving to a new home or taking a long trip. Whatever the setting, home or school, students will enjoy Putter's tale and hearing about the journey from his point of view.

I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.

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