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Out on the Prairie

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Mixed media art transports readers to the rolling grasslands of Badlands National Park. Learn about the animals that inhabit this semiarid environment where baby critters and their mothers wallow, run, call, bark, hop, scurry, nod, slither, howl, and jump all day long and all through the night.

Count animals from one to ten in the rhyming text modeled after the traditional
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Joanne G.
Colorful artwork accompanies prose that can grow with children. The front of the book contains poetry little ones will enjoy, and the back contains educational information about the flora and fauna of the prairie that older children will find interesting.
Banner Rodgers
Jan 16, 2017 Banner Rodgers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Loved the illustrations!! Also would be a good read aloud.
Laura Salas
Jun 17, 2012 Laura Salas rated it really liked it
Out on the Prairie, by Donna M. Bateman (Charlesbridge, 2012)

I love rhyming nonfiction, and the subgenre of song parodies especially. Parodies isn't the right word, because this book isn't a spoof, but it's where you take a copyright-free song and write totally new lyrics that share loads of info on a specific topic. I did a set of 8 of these, including Eight Great Planets, and the books were both really exciting and very challenging to write.

Bateman's book is a take-off on the song "Over in the
Mar 21, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: ari-s-books
Well, I don't know the tune of "Over in the Meadow," so I don't feel the same obligation other readers may feel to "sing" the book when they read it aloud. As far as my 3 yo. daughter is concerned, it's a poem, and she likes the rhyme and meter. This book is actually less toddler-friendly than Marianne Berkes's similar "Over in the Meadow" series, for while it's a counting book, it does not display the numeral on the page; the print is smaller; and the wording is slightly more sophisticated. ("M ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: with-my-ears
Written by Donna Bateman
Illustrated by Susan Swann
Narrated by Tom Chapin
Live Oak Media, 2014

As she did in Deep in the Swamp, Bateman borrows the rhyming meter from Over in the Meadow, this time focusing on the flora and fauna of the prairie. Chapin's deliberate pacing and energetic narration place the reader-listener's attention firmly on the creatures in their prairie habitat as shown in Swann's meticulous, detailed mixed-media illustrations. The soft musical underbed and the background prairie
Mar 26, 2014 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Out on the Prairie is a great rhyming book about the animals and life on the prairie. I like how the author uses words that are not used very often in everyday language. For parents or teachers who do not know what some of the words are, there is a very nice section of prairie flora and fauna (plants and animals) facts. Here you will find everything from grama grasses to pronghorns. This book would be great for teachers to use in the classroom when talking about the Great Plains. Along with liki ...more
Absolutely lovely version of "Over in the Meadow" set in The Badlands National Park of South Dakota. The rhythm of the poem is just right, making it an easy read. The illustrations are really quite stunning collages of hand-painted papers and found objects. Colors are vibrant; patterns and papercuts are intricate.

Each spread features an animal native to the prairielands of the United States, and many also include native plants. An appendix gives more information on each animal and plant mention
Beautiful, very visually appealing, love the lilting rhythm of the verse.

3 starred reviews -- Kirkus, SLJ, PW

"...Swan’s energetic cut-paper, mixed-media illustrations delight and instruct. She includes found objects and hand-painted paper, collaged and digitally combined on double-page spreads that blend into a spatter-paint frame in the story section..."--Kirkus

"...Swan’s showstopping collages have a three-dimensional quality that makes the prairie come alive—a brightly marbled grasshopper sta
Gail Gauthier
Jul 23, 2013 Gail Gauthier rated it it was amazing
"Out on the Prairie by Donna M. Bateman with illustrations by Susan Swan is actually a counting book. But what's being counted are prairie creatures.

"Out on the prairie where the yucca grows toward heaven,
Lived a mother howdy owl and her little checks Seven.
"Nod!" said the mother. "We nod," said the Seven.
So they nodded in the twilight where the yucca grows toward heaven."

And there are the howdy owls embedded in a gold, brown, and pale blue scene spread over two pages. Out on the Prairie provide
Jim Erekson
Feb 10, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
A nice cross between a concept book (numbers 1-10), a rhyming book, and an informational text, the illustrations outshine the text.

Impressionistic use of textures and color bring each animal to life. The full-spread illustrations for numbers one through ten give way to a more informational style at the end of the book, where a paragraph of information is accompanied by a new picture of each item of flora and fauna. I enjoyed the topical focus on the high plains, and Bateman did very well with t
Sandy Brehl
Using the familiar pattern of "down in the valley where the ....", the text for this counting book is rich with illustrations and specific plant and animal names. The American prairie is made to feel familiar, enticing, and gorgeous. It is a welcome contrast to simplistic, white-space, rhyming and counting books. The illustrated back matter describes further the various plants and animals, including intriguing side notes about habits and uses. For older readers it would have been nice to have on ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
A "prairie" version of "over in the meadow". I did sing the whole thing to myself. Good introduction to the flora and fauna of the prairie (found in Badlands National Park in South Dakota). I'm thinking I need to do a National Park road trip some summer!!! "Song" is fact-filled and book has several pages of more supporting facts. Didn't notice any references, so I'm left to assume some of the info, but I learned some cool facts--including the word "crepuscular"--active during twilight hours!
Lu Benke
Another take on the "Down in the meadow" song. (Almost a new genre this is happening so often!) Illustrations were evocative of being on the prairie, especially the flowers and grasses. The information on the animals at the end kept having to make a point of saying that the mother animals they featured in the book don't actually hang around their young, despite the text of the song indicating the moms are all warm and cozy around their offspring, taking care of them. So the best part was the ill ...more
In rhyming verses the authors describe the beauty of the prairies where pronghorns gallop and grama grasses provide places for grasshoppers to live. Each double-page spread features something unique about the prairie as well as a focus on a number from one to ten. The illustrations are lovely, created from hand-painted papers, found objects, scanned, and then digitally painted and formed into a collage. The verses are fun to say, the prairie is lovely to behold, and the authors have also include ...more
May 30, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it
I love variations on "Over in the Meadow" and this is a strong contender for my favorite. Bateman did a great job incorporating long, descriptive lines into a the rhythmic verses.
Swan mixed media, collage illustrations show the plants and animals in the prairie biome.

Great for biome studies, as the backmatter includes information on plants and animals in addition to those 'ten' in the song. I would like to see the tune mentioned in the book somewhere, as this is one of those traditional children
I am predisposed to like adaptations of "Over in the Meadow" because it's one of my favorite songs, and while this one has detailed illustrations and a great selection of animals (and plants), it doesn't really scan to the original. Paragraphs in the back provide further information about the animals, all of which live within Badlands National Park. Since the song is all about mamas and babies, it was a nice touch that the author carefully noted which of the animals really did take care of their ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Bateman introduces readers to creatures and plants inhabiting the semi-arid prarie environment, actually based on the Badlands National Park. The story has a catchy rhyme and rhythm, which I enjoyed, and I hope students will, too. The illustrations are captivating, as Swan uses mixed-methods, incorporating "found objects, hand-painted papers, and scans of objects ant textures." I highly recommend this text as an addition to transcend the standard collection of overly explored animals (ahem, farm ...more
Patricia Bandre
Jan 07, 2013 Patricia Bandre rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
Written to the "tune" of Over in the Meadow, this book focuses on the animals and plants of the prairie. Some of the rhymes and rhythms feel a bit "off" or forced. I am especially taken by the beautifully detailed collage art. Final pages describe the animals and plants found in the initial pages in more detail. This really allows the books to meet the reading needs and interests of a wider audience.
Jul 26, 2012 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A catchy refrain introduces animals that inhabit the prairie. Animals increase in number up to the number 10. Cut paper illustrations boast vivid colors and interesting textures giving artwork an impressive depth. Following the story is a brief paragraph about each of the animals and some of the plants found on the prairie. Great read aloud!
Karen Arendt
Aug 24, 2012 Karen Arendt rated it really liked it
Colorful collage illustrations that talk about a variety of animals and flora that are found in the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Also a rhyming book and a counting book since the story progressively counts up to 10.
Laura Z
Nov 17, 2012 Laura Z rated it did not like it
This is just my opinion: All Authors take note: Everyone and their brother (and sister) has used this song in a book. Please STOP!! I, for one, am sick of reading books set to this song. Be a little more creative and give us a real story. Thank you.
Tracy Morton
Mar 12, 2013 Tracy Morton rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Although I have classified this as a picture book it could also be considered a juvenile non-fiction. This is a rhyming, counting book that teaches a bit about prairie animals. The illustrations are beautiful and would be great to study as part of a visual art class.
Jun 25, 2014 Russell rated it liked it
An evocative literary song, dedicated to the northern Midwest. Nicely illustrated, with useful information about the flora and fauna found in the prairies. Rhymes are a bit strained at times, but it flows nicely nonetheless.
Jul 28, 2012 Jenny rated it liked it
I'm not sure if the juxtaposition of the song in the beginning and the factual information at the end worked in this book. I thought the art was beautiful and I appreciated all the factual information about prairies at the end, but I didn't like the "Over in the Meadow" song in the beginning.
Christine Turner
Dec 31, 2012 Christine Turner rated it it was ok
Shelves: nature
Discusses several plants and animals that live on the prairie in Badlands National Park, including the pronghorns, meadowlarks, rattlesnakes, and prairie dogs, to the traditional rhyme scheme of "Over in the Meadow."
Jul 23, 2012 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different animals are pointed out in a four line rhyme where numbers are increasing with every page. These are all animals that can be found in the badlands national park and are portrayed with beautiful colorful illustrations.
Kate Hastings
Jan 01, 2013 Kate Hastings rated it liked it
Grades K-2. Beautiful illustrations, but I feel like this poem has been overdone in recent years. Love the animal fact notes, but the rhyme makes this book a little young for older grades.
Sep 11, 2012 Peacegal rated it really liked it
This is a fun, Western-style twist on the nursery rhyme "Over by the Meadow" (which I've always loved). I really enjoyed the illustrations as well.
Diane rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2013
Leland Jack
Leland Jack rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2014
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Brian Lies is the author and/or illustrator of more than twenty children's books, including the New York Times bestsellers BATS AT THE BEACH and BATS AT THE LIBRARY (named the Indie Choice Best Picture Book of 2008)."
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