Putter and the Red Car
Putter and the Red Car is the story of one family's cross country road trip narrated by a lively 7 year old Airedale terrier. The book incorporates ideas related to family, change, and geography with a backdrop of brightly colorful illustrations.
This story takes the family from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington. With lots of attractions to see as the family travels cross country the reader learns more about the inside of hotel rooms than the amazing outdoors. Granted, the story is told by a dog but even so the author missed the opportunity to educate the reader by making the story more interesting by detailing more of the attractions and cities they had to drive through than being in the car and in various hotels. There was a few interesting pieces such as Mount Rushmore and a tipi museum, but that was quickly lost.
The illustrations weren't as adventurous either showing lots of pictures of the family and dog in the car and in hotels, but again not focusing on the great things going on around them through their travels. Instead of making the road trip exciting and fun, or even using comparisons and contrasting about of the landscapes, the author made it sound boring by focusing too much on how the dog feels on the trip instead of what he sees. The author noted more of the every day type stuff that the reader doesn't need to read this book to know more about, though it is true to its title. The book focuses on the car and the dog.
Though the story is assuredly simple, children who have dogs will enjoy reading a story told by a dogs point of view learning more about how a dog may feel on such a long and tiresome trip. Focusing on a younger age group the kids will enjoy the dogs adventure more, an older age group will need more substance.