Saturday, 24 January 2015

Review: Peter Puck and the Runaway Zamboni Machine

Hockey, a Zamboni®, anthropomorphic machines, and a great message: what more could you ask for in a young reader series for Canadian boys? 

Published by Tundra and written by Canadian author/illustrator team Brian McFarlane and Geri Storey, this Peter Puck book stars a Zamboni® who is feeling a little unappreciated at the arena. Luckily, his adventure out on the town reminds him that his friends appreciate everything he does and that his job is not only an important one, but one that makes him happy!

Summary: Peter’s good friend, Tony the Zamboni, longs for adventure. When Tony disappears, Peter and referee George Phair head out to find him. Tony loves being out in the big wide world, especially when he enters a race at the speedway. Peter arrives just in time to hop on and drive, but a run-in with two nasty drivers threatens to put them on the sidelines. Can Peter and Tony stay in the race? And will the runaway Zamboni return to the arena and prepare the ice for the big game?

From a marketing standpoint, Zamboni® stories are actually quite popular in Canada, and what child is not fascinated with watching them drive over the ice?  Overall, the series is written for young readers who are advanced enough to read confidently on their own, and who are between readers and early chapter books. Each spread has a picture and a page of text, which also makes the series great for parents reading to their kids. The language is very basic and pairs well with the expressive and colourful art for readers to piece the together the story.

This is a great Canadian young reader series for fans of books/shows that feature talking vehicles/machinery, and includes a positive "love the life you have" type of message. Fun fact: Brian McFarlane is a famous hockey sportscaster on Hockey Night in Canada AND he's the son of the author of many of the Hardy Boys books! 

3 Stars

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