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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Nadishka Aloysius’s story of Roo, The Little Red TukTuk: Introducing World Cultures and Travel through a Picture Book about a Brave and Kind Vehicle for Children age 3 - 6 is a lovely tale about a three-wheeled motor vehicle that is popular in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The cute illustrations by Privanka Fonseka show him in action. This book is Roo’s story of his happy life. Roo got his name because he likes to rev his engine. He also makes the famous TukTuk sound that gave these vehicles their name. When Roo was young, he liked to race. When he got older, he liked bringing books to the poorest children in the city, so they could enjoy reading. He likes to play TukTuk polo and learned to balance on two wheels. He likes dogs and tourists. He liked being in a TukTuk parade. And he likes his current life in old age.
We think about people aging, about the friends they meet, the games they play, the pets they have, the jobs they do. When we think about our vehicles, we take care of them, we have adventures in them, but I have never once asked myself if my vehicle is happy. This story is unusual, not just because it is about a kind of vehicle that we don’t see in the Western world, but also because it is told from the point of view of that vehicle – a cute red TukTuk, who has lived a happy life. He liked his driver and a dog he took care of for a while. He liked his passengers. He liked the sounds he made. He likes children. And stories. Now, he has become a storyteller. He is making children he has never met happy. I think Roo would be very happy to know that.