We put this children’s book to the ULTIMATE test: Does it captivate a crabby toddler?
Title: Rusty and Roo Take a Tumble
Author: Kathy Carter
Illustrator: Faye Hobson
Publisher: Sirenia Books
Rusty and Roo Take a Tumble is a delightful and colorful rhyming story that shares the adventures of a bossy Shetland Pony named Rusty and his trusty donkey sidekick, Roo, on their busy farm called Popple’s Ranch and Ride. The two get into some trouble, rescue some friends and make cheery little memories in a perfect sing-song rhyme that will charm an adult and hold the attention of a little one. How do I know? Because I have a very particular toddler who just turned two years old yesterday, and she has exactly zero patience for bad children’s books.
Rusty and Roo suited her perfectly. The illustrations and the rhymes allowed her to say many of the words aloud with me, which is a huge part of reading with the young’uns. I love when I can find a book that she doesn’t just listen to, but with which she’s eager to interact. She names the dogs, cats, horses, and donkey and points with her cute chubby finger at the animals as we go.
Moreover, she followed along to the very end of the book, never once begging to get down or letting her attention wander to other things from the vantage point of my lap. The sweet little verses kept her engaged, and the darling illustrations had her complete attention as I read.
I found the two little mini-plots to be charming and full of good sound effects, and not complete torture to read three times in a row as is sometimes necessary with toddlers in certain moods.
Best of all, Kathy intends to keep the adventures going and turning Rusty and Roo into a series, which my little one always seems to like when she can choose multiple adventures from one set of characters. (a la Curious George and Strawberry Shortcake.)
Go Rusty and Roo, and Go Riding!