The Oil Change by D.A. Northup offers a basic education on changing a vehicle’s motor oil, as experienced from a youngster’s perspective. During a visit with grandparents, the child is invited by Grandpa to assist with a routine oil change. The eager and helpful youngster gladly joins Grandpa. Inside the garage, the pair considers the importance of safety equipment, the proper use of tools, the value of cleanliness and orderliness, and how to limit the environmental impact of used motor oil. Besides changing the oil and learning about vehicle maintenance, the greatest benefit is spending time with Grandpa, forming memories that will last a lifetime.

D.A. Northup shares the mechanics of an oil change thoroughly yet uncomplicatedly, always keeping safety at the forefront. Even though the characters’ descriptions are minimal, it is easy to picture them through the child’s curiosity and comprehension and through Grandpa’s wisdom and gentleness. Frequent images punctuate the narrative, offering glimpses of the tools and equipment used. I love how the simple pictures add consistency to the book through tire-tread framing and oil-splash backgrounds. However, my favorite aspect is the nostalgia for spending time with my grandparents and learning from their life experiences. Great for parents wanting to introduce their children to basic mechanics or kids interested in how vehicles work, The Oil Change is much more than a vehicle maintenance tutorial; it is a heartfelt story of the value of spending time with our extended family.

%d bloggers like this: