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.
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copyright 2021 Deanie Humphrys-Dunne