Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Farm Book Poster Image
Catchy art and story, all about the rhythms of farm life.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This book offers a very realistic insight into what life on a farm
is like, throughout the seasons, for all the plants, animals, and people who live and work there.  Work is sometimes fun, sometimes hard;
tractors can break down in the midst of plowing, but neighbors will
lend a hand in fixing them; cats, dogs, chickens, cows all mill around
the barnyard; weather can help, and can be an inconvenience; crops grow
and need to be harvested; some times are busy, others slow and lazy.

Positive Messages

The story teaches the joy of working with the rhythms of nature. Weather can't be fixed, for example, but must be worked with if the farmer is to get his crop in the ground at the proper time. It also teaches that there is a time for everything, and that though chores might not always be fun, they must be done.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though no character really stands out as a single role model, the farmers, their family and neighbors work hard, and are friendly and helpful to one another.  They take care of things on their own farm but also seem to be part of a larger community that works together. 

Violence & Scariness

No violence to speak of, though it is mentioned that the girl is stung by a bee, the boy bitten by mosquitoes, the cat eats grasshoppers, and "hacks them up," and the rooster disappears...perhaps he was eaten by a fox.  "September shows that some things are not forever."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that it's hard to say whether this book is fiction or nonfiction. The story is pretend, but realistic detail, both in words and artwork, is what this celebration of life on a family farm is all about. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 and 4-year-old Written byMamaRo April 25, 2011

Pacing & story didn't captivate my toddlers

My 2 1/2 and 4 year old couldn't get into this book quite yet. We tried several times and I never managed to finish the whole book. I liked it and I thin... Continue reading
Parent of a 18+-year-old Written bydoggs123 September 12, 2010

Good for any age.

I thank this book is a good book.
Teen, 16 years old Written byTchickenboybo3rewier October 13, 2010
I love chickens but y buy book go 2 the libere plz!

What's the story?

The story begins with an introduction to the things that make up a farm: the people, buildings, animals, and machinery. Then it moves through the seasons, showing what goes into growing and harvesting a crop of corn as well as how different times of year affect the activity on the farm. The farmer has to wait to till the soil until the weather is just right, things (including the cats) get dusty as the days dry out, life gets as busy as the buzzing bees until the planting is done and things slow down as everyone waits for harvest time. March is muddy, April gets lighter, in May everything grows, June is the sweet month, July is for exploring...and so on. Everyone is involved in this life on the farm that has rhythms, smells, and sounds they can depend on. A glossary at the front defines words specific to farming.

Is it any good?

Most books about farms for kids are cute and simple; this one is different, and quite amazing. It has a depth that is unusual in most picture books as well as a poetic beauty that will especially hit home with anyone who has experienced rural life. For those who have not, it will give  a very realistic, multi-dimensional impression of what it would be like to live on a family farm. Not only will the storyline, and the way it is told,  hold the interest of young readers, but the artwork will intrigue readers of any age. The author weaves several threads in and out of the story as he shows how the seasons affect the farmer, kids, animals, and crops, how the soil changes, and how the smells and sounds of the farm reflect the different times of year. All of that is absolutely enriched by the artwork.  Not only is each illustration as lyrical and detailed as the story, but the variety of ways each is presented on the page makes the book all the more captivating.

Soft, poetically simple but delicately detailed watercolor and pencil illustrations enrich every page of this book as well as the cover, inside and out.  And the arrangement of the artwork on the pages varies, which definitely adds another level of interest. Some paintings are full-page spreads illustrating a single line of text, some are small barely painted sketches almost arranged like a comic strip, while others are fully detailed, though small and scattered several to a page. Some pages contain both sketches and half-page spreads. All in all, the variety adds dimension and reflects the complexity of the whole farm life experience. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about farms. Have you ever lived on, or visited, a farm? How was it like the one in the book? How was it different? What crops did they grow? What did their barns look like? Did they have silos? Or different kinds of machinery?

  • Younger kids will enjoy counting the number of tractors, silos, and combines, and talking about the different animals on the farm. Why are there so many cats?  How about cows, dogs, and roosters? Why do some have names while others do not?  What do you think about the names the animals are given? How would you choose their names?

  • In the beginning this book says there are two farmers on the farm. One is drawn as a man, one as a woman. Are most farmers you know men or women? Why do you think that is? 

  • Do you have any special chores to do around the house? How do you feel about doing them? Which ones are more fun than others?

Book details

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