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

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  517 ratings  ·  66 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 fo

...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 12th 1984 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,019)
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Rose Gowen
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
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Tyler Hill
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
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elissa
Jun 16, 2009 elissa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Matthew
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.
Erika
Feb 27, 2009 Erika rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Mame
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.
Kate
Perhaps the best animal children's book of all time.
Amy
I read this book before I go to sleep sometimes.
Martin
Still my favorite picture book of all.
Caitlin
this is so charming.
Heather
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'
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Jessica Camara
This book was one of my favorites as a kid, and, as I was sharing my old beat up copy with my daughter tonight, I realized that it's still one of the best! It makes me want to live on a farm with tons of animals, each with distinct quirky personalitities - so cute!
Susan
Jan 04, 2008 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy farmers, animal lovers, nature children
Shelves: picture-books-jp

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
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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.
Melanie
Wonderful book. We read it as children and I don't mind rereading it as an adult. I love the illustrations and the humor.
Vanessa
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
Alice
I have to rate this on behalf of my daughter. She loves this book and never gets tired of reading from it.
Rebecca
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."
Lorna
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
Savannah
VERY informative. I bit long for my 5 and 2 year old to sit through but we broke it up into two nights.
Margaret
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.
Nichole
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.
Louise Sumner
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.

Ann
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!)
Grant
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.
Annmarie
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. :)
Stephanie
A new favorite of both boys. I remember reading this as a child. Charming watercolor illustrations and witty observations of the animal inhabitants of an upstate NY farm. Takes a while to read...I timed it at 23 minutes today...it's a testament to its appeal that my 2-year-old sits through it every time and that both kids ask for it over and over.
Timothy
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
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.
Stephanie
Sep 13, 2011 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: Sonlight
Shelves: homeschool
This is a fun and educational book. It has a real feel of a farm and introduces not just the type of animal but the personalities of pets/farm animals. My boys and I love this book and love to read and re-read it. The illustrations are fun and colorful without being overwhelming.
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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
The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909 The Year At Maple Hill Farm A Day in the Life of Murphy Shaker Lane The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States

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