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Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm (Maple Hill Farm)

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  780 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Who lives at Maple Hill Farm?

Two dogs, five horses, a pig, some geese, lots of chickens, a few cows, a few goats, several sheep, and four special cats -- these are the animals at Maple Hill Farm.

With simple text that is both affectionate and wry, and irresistible illustrations that burst with personality, Alice and Martin Provensen bring their barnyard friends to life f

Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 12th 1984 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1974)
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Rose Gowen
Jun 05, 2009 Rose Gowen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This afternoon, my son threw a fit because I refused to read this book to him at naptime. I understand why he was upset-- it's a truly excellent book with beautiful illustrations that move well on the page and show the movement and spirit of animals as well as their likeness; and playful, non-condescending text-- but I have read it (at least) twice a day for the past three days, and I had already read it first thing this morning, and I wanted to read something shorter. Plus, I'm mean.

But, I'll p
Feb 17, 2009 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life. It was my favorite book as a child, I borrowed it from the library so many times, the librarian told my mother that she should buy it for me. I still have my copy of Our Animal Friends, and it is one of my most treasured possessions. No childhood should be without Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm.
Tyler Hill
Dec 12, 2011 Tyler Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I've read a lot of children's books to my daughter over the last couple of years. But, this is only the second one that I've been inspired to review here afterward, and its the first to make me start laughing so hard that I couldn't keep reading it. In fact there were several pages that had me laughing pretty hard.

The Goodreads blurb describes this book as having a "wry" sense of humor, and I think that word fits perfectly. Its a charming book about all the various animals who reside on Maple Hi
Jun 16, 2009 elissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to elissa by: SLJ/Fuse #8 Blog
4 1/2 stars. THE COLOR KITTENS has always been a very favorite picture book of mine, but I had never seen this book by the same authors until I noticed it on SLJ's (SLJ/Elizabeth Bird/Fuse #8) excellent list of "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". I wanted to look at all of the books that I hadn't seen on that list (there weren't a huge number, so I was curious about the few that I'd missed over the years--most were very worth seeking out). I love this one, and am so glad that I got to read it. ...more
Karen Witzler
May 19, 2015 Karen Witzler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Delightful children's picture book. Counts and describes each of the animals living at Maple Hill Farm in the way a child might. Each creature has a name and distinct personality.The illustrations are funny and capture a certain joy in their exposition of the individual foibles of each animal. A young child would want to read this again and again.
Feb 27, 2009 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites
To this day the absolute favorite book of my childhood. I still return to it often and an amazed by the staying power of the humor and sweetness. I wish it was still in print in hardcover. My copy is falling apart from all the love it has received.
Nov 22, 2008 Mame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favorite kids book, poignant, funny, sweet: lots of pets and farm animals and their characteristics. Quirky, not the usual fare. Easy to read repeatedly to little children.
Sherry Elmer
This is a wonderful book by the Provensens, as is their The Year At Maple Hill Farm. I think this one is more humorous. Both are very entertaining.
Feb 22, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, tearjerker
I read this book before I go to sleep sometimes.
Apr 06, 2009 Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Still my favorite picture book of all.
Jul 23, 2010 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: illustration
this is so charming.
Jan 19, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, children, fiction
Perhaps the best animal children's book of all time.
Jennifer Bradshaw
This was one of my favorite books to read to my younger brother when we were growing up. I even made up tunes so I could sing the book to him. I still remember fragments of those songs. We enjoyed the lively illustrations and the different personalities of the animals, especially the cats, Eggnog, Willow, Gooseberry, and Max (it's not a pretty sight!). I look forward to reading this book with another generation of young people.
Jan 14, 2017 LK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny and interesting.
This is one of those books that's nostalgic for me because I can remember reading it as a child.

It is a book that is more thematic than narrative, but works well as a delightful introduction to the animals on a particular farm. You feel as if the farmer has taken your hand and is leading you around and introducing you to the different kinds of animals and telling you their names, as well as pointing out their idiosyncrasies and personality quirks. You feel like you're learning from someone who
My two youngest (ages 6 and 3) have been rather cranky and rowdy during school lately so I chose this book to see if they'd sit still. Boy did they ever. I had planned on only reading a few pages today, but we read the whole thing. All four of the boys (even the 9-yr-olds) were crowded around.

The book is very simple, talking about the animals on a farm and their personalities and funny things they do. They loved it. It was like visiting someone's farm or having a guided tour into a world we don'
Jun 08, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy farmers, animal lovers, nature children

This book and the other one about Maple Hill Farm always makes me want to chuck it all and buy some land - which would be a horrendous mistake as I am hardly a farm girl and more likely to be found mucking around a cafe than a stable. But such is the power of this book - I want a goat. I want geese. I want weird dogs with strange track records. I want cats with murderous tendencies. I want them all on my farm where I will feel the kind of zoned out bliss I get when I peruse these books.

The only
Sep 05, 2016 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This was one of my favorite books to read to my kids when they were little. The simple child-like but very expressive illustrations and the quirky characteristics of all the animals make it entertaining for children and adults.
Oct 11, 2007 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon this book by chance on the reshelving cart at the library. What a delight - and so damned funny! I love the descriptions of all of the animals - their names and personalities and the things they do, both boring and mischievous. In particular, I love the section on the geese and the bit about Whiney the sheep, and how she is so intellectually challenged that she can't find the gate or her own lambs and can't tell a blade of grass from a poisonous weed and so is regularly sick, but ...more
Lovely. At 21 months, we just look at all the animals and talk about them, but this is a book that will be read properly later.
OK so my child is now 2 1/2 and currently asks for this EVERY night. Is it because it's long? No, it's because it's freaking oozing with charm. He loves animals, and clearly so do the authors, because they have so much personality here. I do have to skip whole sections for bedtime, because I'm obliged to do several books a night :) But it's really great. Plenty for
Jul 23, 2014 Lorna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So glad I stumbled across this! Sweet book from 1974 that is perfect for fans of farms and farm animals. Great illustrations of all the different animal groups (cats, dogs, horses, sheep, etc.) and explanations of their activities and even personalities. Probably a bit challenging as a read aloud (it's long, wordy, and relatively plotless) but this would have been a book I adored and poured over as a kid. You can tell the authors spent a lot of time and love observing animals as they created thi ...more
Margaret Chind
Mar 20, 2013 Margaret Chind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margaret by: Sonlight P3/4
Our Animal Friends At Maple Hill Farm is too long to read really in just one sitting, but it is fun and funny will plenty of facts to poke curiosity that makes you want to read it all. I enjoy the artwork and look forward to reading The Year At Maple Hill Farm soon as well.
My son and I read this book as a part of Sonlight's P3/4 curriculum. This book was written with a great sense of humor. Most of it went over my son's head, but I was laughing out loud reading some parts. It explains various aspects of farm life very matter of factly and with wonderful illustrations. The large paperback edition perfectly showcases the pictures. My son and I can't wait to read The Year at Maple Hill Farm by the same authors.
Mar 24, 2013 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published in the 1970's this charming, realistic look at the rich and interesting life of the animals on "Maple Hill Farm" was written by Alice and Martin Provensen. I somehow missed this title; however, I read it after I recently heard "Judge" John Hodgeman recommend it on his podcast as a great children's book. A great title for the animal loving child (and enough depth and nuance for the adult too!)
Louise Sumner
Jul 09, 2011 Louise Sumner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming. This is my older son's absolute favorite book. He is 2 and a half. We read all or part of it each and every day. I really like that there is more text in this book than in many picture books, but there are also illustrations for almost all of the text. My son will listen to some pretty long stories and even, increasingly, to books with far fewer pictures than this one, and I credit this book in part for that.

Dec 27, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
this book was one of my favorites as a child, and I just re-read it with my nephew. It's still so much fun. Laugh out loud funny. This book was clearly written by people who know and love animals. And these aren't idealized, prettified animals either. They have enjoyable antics, but they also do bad things and sometimes get sick or die. My favorite were the cats, especially Willow, "Willow is very beautiful, but she isn't very interesting."
I was so happy to find this book in a large paperback edition in the bookstore today! I love this book and its companion, 'A Year at Maple Hill Farm', which I read to my children when they were little and now have in my classroom. I went ahead and bought the large paperback edition of 'A Year' also so I have them for any future grandchildren who come along. :)
Dec 02, 2007 Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
i don't know if this book was given to me or my older brother, but we both love it to this day. one of my earliest memories is my parents reading me this book. the art is great. the animal's personalities really come out. and the stories of who is who's parent, who bites, who is docile, who tries to buck children, who died. it's great. recently i found a copy and gave it to my nephew.
Apr 17, 2012 Timothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Energetic and entertaining artwork plays along perfectly with snappy phrasing. The text does not shy away from the nature of animals (ie the cat catching animals, "He leaves gifts of guts and tails / and chipmunk heads on the doorstep.") so you might want to skip certain parts if reading to a very young and/or sensitive child.
Jacob Combs
Jun 22, 2013 Jacob Combs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unforgettable characters and illustrations grace this perfectly written tour of Maple Hill Farm. With nonpareil style and humor, children are introduced to the true beauty of rural life in the United States. A classic in its own time, this book is sure to delight everyone who discovers its candid beauty.
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Alice Provensen collaborated with her late husband, Martin, on numerous highly acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning The Glorious Flight and Nancy Willard's Newbery Medal-winning A Visit to William Blake's Inn, which was also a Caldecott Honor Book. The Provensens have been on the New York Times list of the Ten Best Illustrated Books eight times. Alice lives in Staatsburg, ...more
More about Alice Provensen...

Other Books in the Series

Maple Hill Farm (2 books)
  • The Year At Maple Hill Farm

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“Kids are clever and full of fun but, oh, they can be a terrible nuisance!” 1 likes
“A skunk is walking by. Skunks don't hurry or hide. The dogs and cats pretend not to notice them. It is best not to.” 0 likes
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