The Red Car That Tyler Wanted
by Mary A. Kurban, Ed.D.
Westwood Books Publishing LLC

"Tyler was very happy. He felt that he had gotten everything that he wanted."

Tyler, a young rabbit, is on a shopping trip with his mother. His birthday is coming up, and it’s possible she wants to get a clue about what he’d like for a present. For Tyler, there is no doubt. In a store window, he sees a red car. There's something about the light glinting on the shiny surface of the toy car that he finds irresistible. He begins to beg his mother for the red car. She tells him that if he does everything he is asked and obeys all the rules at home without complaint, he may just find that car waiting for him on his birthday. When he goes home, he is given a big supper, and though he isn't especially hungry, he follows his mother’s instructions to finish all his food. After supper, he obeys again, putting away all his toys. He continues to do as he’s told for weeks until his birthday finally arrives, and Tyler finds his mother has bought him the car. It’s every bit as much fun as he’d imagined; with its remote, he can make it zip around, dodging the furniture. When his guests come to his party, though, there is an extra, seventh visitor—a friend’s little brother, Freddy. Tyler’s mother has only provided enough party toys for six, nothing for Freddy. When Tyler sees Freddy sitting alone, crying, he realizes there is something he can do to help.

Kurban is an experienced author who has pursued a career in human resource development, educational leadership, educational management, teaching, and the fine arts. Her new book is targeted for children ages 4 to 8. It is sweetly and vibrantly illustrated by Kurban, as well. A typical picture shows a winsome Tyler sleeping, curled up in his plaid coverlet surrounded by pink mushrooms and blue flowers with the little red car hovering over him in a small “dream balloon.” He, his mother, and his companions are nothing short of adorable, depicted very simply in an idyllic rabbit world that contains a few human furnishings scattered over a verdant, natural setting.

The author clearly wishes to share a story that will engage both the feelings and the thoughts of little ones. What child doesn’t dream of having a long-held wish finally come true? But even joyous occasions can be overshadowed by the recognition that not everyone is happy, and in such times a solution must be found if possible. In addition, Kurban is offering a moral overlay in which a good deed brings its own rewards. Tyler’s birthday will end on an especially happy note because, without being prompted, he decides to help a friend in need by making what is, for him, a significant sacrifice. Seeing the “thankful look in Elmer’s eyes” is all the confirmation he needs that he has done the right thing. Kurban does not push, but gently projects a moral value system that brings the tale to a positive conclusion. A charming read-to book for preschoolers and a manageable I-can-read one for older children, Kurban’s well-illustrated, smoothly written story will be welcomed by parents seeking uplifting, enjoyable material for their young ones.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home