A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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."
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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.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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