Farm

Common Sense Media says

Catchy art and story, all about the rhythms of farm life.

Age

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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."

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. 

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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. 

Families can talk 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

Author:Elisha Cooper
Illustrator:Elisha Cooper
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Orchard Books
Publication date:April 1, 2010
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

This review of Farm was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byMamaRo April 25, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

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 think they would too but they must just be too young. And my kids can normally handle some pretty long picture books so clearly this one just wasn't quite right for them at this age.
Parent of a 18 year old Written bydoggs123 September 12, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Good for any age.

I thank this book is a good book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 16 years old Written byTchickenboybo3rewier October 13, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
I love chickens but y buy book go 2 the libere plz!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass