Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Big Tractors Equal Big Fun with #Casey&Friends Book Review + #Giveaway

Meet “Casey & Friends.”
Written by Holly Dufek, Illustrated by Paul E. Nunn | Published by Octane Press
Ages 4-8 | 32 pages | 9x9-inch hardcover | $14.99 each 

Follow Casey the farmer, Tillus the worm, Big Red the tractor, and a whole cast of cartoon equipment characters who teach important life lessons gleaned from the farm, like thinking ahead and working as a team. Each title is licensed by CASE IH and highlights a different aspect of farm equipment and technology with educational sidebars, picture glossaries and fun farming facts for added learning possibilities.

“Know a kid or two who thinks corn comes from the grocery’s freezer section? Put ‘em on track with A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends....Plenty of detail combined with lots of color photos and illustrations makes this an engaging read for kids ages 4-8. A fun (and educational) read for kids and their grandparents!”

—Leslie McManus, Farm Collector Magazine

OCTANE PRESS produces high-quality narrative and illustrated books for discerning enthusiast audiences. Some of the company’s best-known titles include Red Tractors 1958–2013: The Authoritative Guide to IH and Case IH Tractors and Beast: The Top Secret Ilmor-Penske Engine that Shocked the Racing World at the Indy 500. Octane Press has won several book awards, including IBPA Benjamin Franklin awards (Red Tractors 1958–2013, Forward, Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska) and Independent Publisher Awards (In the Red, Red Tractors 1958–2013).

 Our Thoughts...

We were thrilled to receive a copy of Big Tractors with Casey & Friends! I didn't mention to B that this book would be coming for him, as I really wanted this to be a fun surprise for him, and boy, was it ever! B loves reading, and like many boys, he loves trucks, machines, equipment, etc. He was so excited to open up his special package, which revealed a very special book and toy!

What child wouldn't love to receive a big book, all about tractors, plus- a cool tractor toy?

We couldn't wait to crack the book open and see what it was all about. B doesn't have a lot of experience with farm equipment, but this book and toy are more than just a book and toy- they hold a special meaning for our family. My grandparents (on my mom's side) were farmers, and owned a 100 acre farm in Missouri. My mom's childhood was spent on the farm, and pitching in to help my grandpa with everything from baling hay to plowing and planting, harvesting, caring for the animals, etc. I have a lot of wonderful memories of my grandparents, and their farm (which thankfully, is still family-owned, though my grandparents have passed), and I don't want that part of my life not to be a part of my son's life.

Like my grandpa, and my mom, I have a passion for digging into the earth, tending to plants and crops, and harvesting. I love gardening, especially. My son has taken an interest in gardening, as well, and loves to help me plant our summer veggie garden, and watch the veggies grow on the vines. We're not farmers, by a long shot, but farming is in our blood, and it's important to me that my son knows about this part of his family, even though will never personally know his great grandparents.

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends- a colorful book, with so many bright, beautiful pictures and lots of information about tractors and farms!

The title page of the book has a place for B to write in his name, and his favorite color. This book will become a special keepsake for our family. In the beginning, we are introduced to Casey, and her friend Tillus, who have a busy day ahead on the farm, and invite us to tag along!

The book introduces young readers to tractors right away- fascinating machines, which do a lot of different jobs on the farm. B has had a few experiences with tractors in his life... just a few weeks ago, we visited a local farm to pick fresh strawberries, and got to ride in a huge wagon, which was pulled by (you guessed it-) a big tractor!

Tractors are the muscles of the farm- they do all of the heavy lifting/moving!

B thought it was so cool to be able to see all of the heavy things that tractors can pull!

We also learned about soil, traction and compaction!

One of the coolest parts of the book, are the pages where we learn all about the parts of a tractor- inside and out! There's so much awesome tech inside of a tractor- who knew!? The cab of a tractor is totally cool in B's eyes- he said he can't wait until he's big enough to sit in a tractor and take it for a spin!

Tractors in community!

Where we live (North Carolina), we are no strangers to seeing tractors in our community! They are a part of our parades, special events- like Touch a Truck, and we even see them driving down the road, out in the country every now and then. B loves to drive past the farms, near where my parents live, and watch the combines and tractors in action! He's a little farm boy at heart!

I enjoyed the back pages of the book, which include a glossary for farm terms. The words that appear in the glossary are highlighted through out the book, so you can use the glossary as a resource as you read, or you can flip to it at the end of the book to review what you learned!

B received a Case III Magnum 370 CVT Tractor toy (by TOMY), appropriate for ages 3+.

This is such a realistic replica of a tractor! B's Grammy was so proud and excited to see this in our home. B has had a blast playing 'farm' with it!

ASE IH Magnum 370 CVT Tractor Toy | Built to 1:64 scale | Single front & rear duals, detailed interior, free rolling wheels | MSRP $8.50. Recommended for ages 3+

This is such a wonderful book for us to have in our collection. B is really starting to love reading, and learning to read on his own. He has a big thirst for knowledge, and loves to understand how things work, so this is perfect for his inquisitive little mind. Farm life is a special part of my family's history, so to have this book in our home to read is very special for us- especially for my mom, who can sit down with her grandson and pass down stories and memories of life on the farm with her parents and siblings. I highly recommend the Casey & Friends series, even if you have zero farming ties- it's so important for our children to know where there food comes from, and the hardworking people who help get that food from the farm to the table- plus the awesome machines that help to make it all possible!

Want it? Get it!

For more information, or to purchase your own copy of Big Tractors with Casey & Friends, head on over to Octane Press! Connect with Octane Press on Facebook & Twitter!

Want it? Win it!

One lucky reader will win a copy of Casey & Friends Big Tractors + Tractor Toy! This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older- one entrant per household, please. Just use the RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win! This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Special thanks to Octane Press for allowing us to review and share about the wonderful Casey & Friends series, and for offering this fun giveaway for our readers!

Good luck!


  1. My son loves anything with wheels. :)

  2. My son absolutely loves tractors.

  3. They really love tractors.


  4. My grandson would love this because he is a fanatic for tractors



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