Ben the Racing Car Finds a New Wheel



Ben, the racing car rattled down the road, without knowing just how noisy he sounded.

“What’s that terrible noise?” asked Archie the Bus, Nah the Fire Engine (short for Nee-Nah ….) and Doug the Digger, as the little racing car rattled by.

“What noise?” asked the racing car in surprise.

“Oh, it’s you, Ben!” said Archie. “Listen.”

Ben listened hard as he rattled round in the road. “That? Oh, that’s just how I sound. Doesn’t everyone?”

“No!” said Archie and Doug, and they raced each other up and down the street while Ben stopped and listened out for the thuds and rattly noises. He couldn’t hear any.

“When was the last time you had a race?” asked Nah, the kindly old fire engine.

“So long ago, I can hardly remember,” said Ben with a groan. “But I do remember I was fast, though. Neowww! … Oww! Oww!” Ben hobbled back to Nah who had watched him wince with pain as he tried to race down the road.

“You’ve lost a wheel, Ben!” said Archie the bus.

“Have I?” asked Ben in surprise.

The others counted carefully and, sure enough, Ben had only three wheels – two at the back and just one at the front. There was a huge hole where his fourth wheel should be.

“Well, no wonder you’ve been clanking along,” said Nah the fire engine, “You must be in terrible pain!”

“Must I?” said Ben.

“You need to find yourself a new wheel,” said Doug, and the others agreed. Ben wouldn’t stop making such a racket until he had four wheels again.

Ben said goodbye to his friends and set off, slowly this time, along the road. “I wonder what shape would be best?” he thought to himself.

It wasn’t long before he came to a crumbly wall. He looked carefully at the patterns in the brickwork, and this is what he saw:

square shapes ...

triangle shapes ....

rectangle shapes ....

Ben tried moving with a brick of each shape, but none of them seemed to make his journey go more smoothly.
Do you think a motor car could go driving along with square wheels?
Square wheels? Square wheels?
It would be lumpy-lumpy!
And quite bumpy-bumpy!
If it had square wheels.
Do you think a motor car could go driving along with triangle wheels?
Triangle wheels? Triangle wheels?
It would be lumpy-lumpy!
And quite bumpy-bumpy!
If it had triangle wheels.
Do you think a motor car could go driving along with rectangle wheels?
Rectangle wheels? Rectangle wheels?
It would be lumpy-lumpy!
And quite bumpy-bumpy!
If it had rectangle wheels.
Poor old Ben! As it started to get dark, he hobbled home to his garage and tried to settle down for the night. Whatever was he going to do about his missing wheel? He was just drifting off to sleep when Ben noticed something …. familiar poking out from under an old car blanket nearby.
His wheel! It was definitely his wheel! He threw off the blanket and had a closer look. It was round and shiny, just like his other three wheels. Ben slipped it on at once.
Now do you think a motor car could go driving along with round wheels?
Round wheels? Round wheels?
It would be smooth and breezy,
And quite easy-peasy!
If it had round wheels.
Now, when Ben goes out with his friends, there are no more clanking and banging noises, just a beautiful
Brmmmm, brmmmm!
As told by Harry, Jessica, Tilly and George, with a little help from Singing Sarah
We used these instruments to make the terrible clanking sounds in our story today:
We used shapes  to draw our own car pictures too:

About Sarah Stokes

I am a mother of four children, all currently under the age of eight. Before starting my family, I was a primary school teacher and worked in schools all over London and South East England. Since leaving full time teaching to focus on family life, I have tried to ensure that I stay creative, through learning new skills and trying new things. I have completed my Masters degree in Children's Literature earlier this year, with particular research interests in picture book narratives and writing stories for children. I have recently taken up writing book reviews for the online magazine, IBBYlink, and have a couple of articles due for publication in 2011/12, relating to the world of British 21st century children's literature.

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