I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my first picture book, A Tractor Named Wilbur- Friendships Last Forever today. It is the winner of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Gold Medal. Thank you, Author’s Lounge, for the invitation to introduce Wilbur’s story to your audience.
Wilbur is a cheerful little red tractor who loved helping his friend Jim. Wilbur has known Jim for five years. In the morning, Jim would typically open the barn door and say, “Top o’ the mornin’ to you, Wilbur.” In the summer Wilbur loved mowing the grass for Jim. He cut every blade of grass perfectly. Jim appreciated Wilbur’s efforts. He proved that by taking very good care of him. For example, when Wilbur’s tires were muddy, Jim hosed them off and dried them with a towel. Jim had a tool box with Wilbur’s name on it. He even covered Wilbur with a fluffy green blanket when the weather was chilly.
Although Wilbur loved cutting the grass for Jim, he wanted more things to do. Wilbur asked Jim if there were other tasks he could learn. The little red tractor was thrilled to wear chains on his tires in the winter to help keep him from slipping while he pushed the snow into neat piles. Before long, Wilbur pulled a small cart so Jim could carry gardening tools and weeds from the flower beds. He loved his life with Jim, but things were about to change.
One morning Jim opened the barn door. He didn’t say, “Top o’ the mornin’ to you Wilbur.” Of course, Wilbur noticed something was bothering Jim. He said, “Jim, you look sad. What’s wrong?”
Jim explained he wanted to buy the lot across the street so he could have his own vegetable garden. Wilbur answered, “That’s exciting. Why are you sad?”
Jim whispered, “Wilbur, you’re getting o-l-d-e-r.” He told his little tractor that he would feel very sad if Wilbur got hurt while mowing that big field. Jim felt he needed a new tractor.
When he heard the news, Wilbur’s body shook and tears cascaded down his headlights. Wilbur stomped his tires, insisting he didn’t want to leave.
The next day, Jim came into the barn to visit Wilbur. He washed Wilbur’s headlights with warm soapy water. He patted the little tractor and reassured him that he would find a new home for Wilbur with someone who loved him.
Still, Wilbur was concerned about his future without Jim. Would they still be friends? Would he be so far away that Jim could not visit? One day Jim had a great idea that could help Wilbur feel more comfortable about the future. He mentioned that Wilbur might meet wonderful new animal friends in his new home. Wilbur loves animals, especially his friends Hattie the chicken and Susie squirrel, who are featured in A Tractor Named Wilbur. He imagined meeting new animal pals. Would he meet a cat? A dog? In the end, Jim assures Wilbur that he will come visit him and hear the adventures of his new life.
Are you wondering why we decided to write a book about a little red tractor? We name all of our vehicles, even our lawn tractor. We bought an older tractor and we decided to name him Wilbur. He was the inspiration for A Tractor Named Wilbur. The target audience for this book is three to nine-year-olds. I feel my sister’s endearing illustrations will certainly engage early readers. Young children will realize changes are not always bad. They may also find positive ways to view changes in their lives. In addition, they may discover the value of lasting friendships. A Tractor Named Wilbur is the first in a series of picture books about Wilbur the tractor. The second book will be released later this year. Our goal is to entertain children, while introducing them to valuable life lessons.
More about Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is the author of eight award-winning children’s books: My Life at Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, Un Tractor Llamado Wilbur, A Tractor Named Wilbur, and Tails of Sweetbrier. Each fictional book is beautifully illustrated by her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj. Her goal is to be a positive role model for generations of children. She loves writing stories that build self-esteem and encourage children to follow their dreams.
You may learn more about Deanie’s children’s books here: www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com/
Or her Amazon page here: http://www.bit.ly/DHDbooks/