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The Farmer and the Clown
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The Farmer and the Clown

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,313 Ratings  ·  438 Reviews
Whimsical and touching images tell the story of an unexpected friendship and the revelations it inspires in this moving, wordless picture book from two-time Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee.

A baby clown is separated from his family when he accidentally bounces off their circus train and lands in a lonely farmer’s vast, empty field. The farmer reluctantly rescues the l
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Beach Lane Books
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Mischenko
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To see this week's Wordless Picture Books, please visit www.readrantrockandroll.com

I'm at a loss for words on how to review this wordless picture book. It's rare that a book can cause me to get teary eyed, but this one surely does evoke emotion for me.

A hard-working farmer is working in the wheat when I little clown falls off a moving train near by. They become friends and learn about each other. The farmer is sharing and kind to the little clown. He want's to make him happy and comfortable in h
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Erica
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Awwww!

The illustrations in this story without words hearken back to maybe the 1950's? They remind me of the original Curious George pictures.

Baby clowns are not scary even though both babies and clowns are terrifying.
Grumpy Amish-looking farmers are also not scary.
And circus trains look like boxes of Animal Crackers cookies.

The fifth star is missing because I was not convinced of Baby Clown's emotions that first night.

Regardless, this book is adorable.
Beth
How Marla Frazee managed to make this book endearing rather than creepy is true talent because, let's face it, clowns are creepy. This book, however, will convert even the most persistent of clown-haters.
Agne
I really like Frazee's style in general, so it's not that surprising that I LOVE her illustrations in this wordless picturebook. The very first page is probably my favorite:

So simple yet so rich (which, by the way, is true of the whole book)!

I also wanted to share my aha moment, which made me love this book even more. At first, I couldn't get why the little clown was smiling when he fell off the train. Didn't he just got separated from his family? And why did he get sad only when his face paint
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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A baby clown falls off a train and is helped by a farmer. Great story about our common humanity...a lesson for both children and adults.
Fiery Jack
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, picture-books
This is a wordless picture-book that has been been getting so much positive attention that I had to check it out. Honestly, I was a little hesitant because clowns freak me out. Thankfully, instead of being freaked out, I was perfectly charmed. It's such a warm and endearing book. Yep, I even teared up at the end. Who knew that a clown could make me cry and not because I was scared? It was a big day for me. Without sounding too sappy, this is a great example of why and how children's book are won ...more
Holly
I had a lump in my throat when I finished this one. It hits so many of my tender spots: farm out in the country, old farmer, homesickness, reunions. The spread where the farmer tries to cheer up the little clown when he awakes, by dancing and acting silly, right away made me think of my favorite scene in Babe, when the farmer sings and dances for the sick little pig. This is my favorite picture book of the year, and I'm going to have to buy it for myself.
David Schaafsma
I really loved this. Little clown lost, finds a farmer, they connect, learn from each other, two sad sacks alone who befriend and amuse each other. I especially love the artwork, the muted color, the elongated farmer, the little clown and the train of clowns he needs to be reunited with. Has a little sentimental tug in it. That it is a farmer and a clown (huh?) is part of what makes it sweet and melancholy.
Miriam
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Wordless picture book about a young clown who falls/jumps off a moving train in the middle of nowhere and is (luckily for him) taken in by a kindly but apparently mute old farmer until the clown clan returns for him.
Amy
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sweet-petites
A charming picture book where an old farmer takes in a young clown that gets separated from his circus caravan. The pictures are minimalist but still manage to convey a range of emotions and setting. The ending is bittersweet - but mostly sweet. :)
Sandra
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lovely pictures tell the story of a little clown who falls off the circus train and is found by a farmer.

At the beginning the little clown is the one trying to cheer up the farmer. After all he is a clown, isn't he? But when his face is washed out he starts feeling sad. Now is the farmer's turn to cheer the clown up, and this will transform his life. A beautiful friendship has born.

But the day arrives when the circus train comes back looking for the lost little clown. Then the farmer is left lon
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Edward Sullivan
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I'm not a fan of clowns but it's impossible not to like this touching, whimsical wordless picture book.
Teresa
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I would have rated this 4 stars for "love" except, you know, clowns...
Arielle Walker
Jun 01, 2015 marked it as to-read-short-stories
Maybe this will counter the effects of It and make clowns seem less terrifyingly creepy to me?
Linda Lipko
Oh how I love this tale of a small clown who falls from the traveling circus train. Landing in a farmer's field, both are curious of each other. As the farmer gently takes care of the clown, he grows to love the ways of this very special being, and likewise, the clown embraces farming and the farmer.

Seamless and wordless, the author creates a magical story of loneliness, of love, and of trust.

The theme is universal, and incredibly rendered. This is a book to give as a present to adults as well a
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Beverly
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
I have admired Marla Frazee's illustration style for several years now. I really liked the somber, brownish gray back grounds against which the colors really popped. And each of the pages or panels expertly moved the story along. The story in this wordless book was very clearly depicted, so that children can readily see what is going on in each picture and how the story is progressing. The story of friendship between the old farmer and the young clown is universal, and needs no words to share it ...more
Elisabeth
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just when I've slogged through my millionth "elephant gets lost" or "forest animals help a friend" or "this princess has spunk and pizazz" or "I surely really do love you, kissy kissy gag gag" book - I am rewarded with perfection. My choice for Caldecott as well as being the best thing I've seen this year.

Margie
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In her newest title, The Farmer And The Clown (Beach Lane Books), Marla Frazee, without benefit of words, visualizes a single day of being lost and found for two very different individuals. It is an experience neither of them will forget.

My full recommendation: http://librariansquest.blogspot.com/2...
Kathryn
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
No words just pictures which technically makes it a graphic novel, but it really doesn't seem that way. It's sweet, wonderful, adorable and loving. I loved it.
Sarah
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My six year old niece was furious that there were no words. I was wishing my home was that bare and clean. It is a simple and powerful story told with pictures. I loved it.
Elizabeth S
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, sweet, and fun.
Tasha
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In a wordless picture book, Frazee captures what happens when a young clown falls off of a circus train and is rescued by a lonely farmer. The desolate and flat landscape is unbroken until the bright circus train passes. The farmer is clearly reluctant to take in the bright little smiling clown, but he does anyway, taking him by the hand back to his tiny house. There, the two of them sit together, share a meal and eventually wash up and the clown washes off his face paint. Now it is the little c ...more
Amanda
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wordless book by Marla Frazee?? Be still my heart!! I will confess that this woman has never done a doodle I didn't like. I've always thought that her talent really shows in small vignetttes- she can tell a whole story in a facial expression- and that really shows here (even when the expression is painted on!). The pacing is wonderful: she varies double-page, full-bleed spreads with single ones, with series of small moments in quick succession. The flap copy says that it's a story about home, ...more
Miss
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I feel this book is meant for Key Stage Two readers. There is meaning behind the pictures that I think more experienced readers would capture and relate to more.
It is a story of friendship and different cultures coming together and befriending one another. No matter how different the backgrounds, people still have the ability to build friendships and love for one another.
I would use this book and relate to PSHE qualities and the building of friendships. The book also shows us that friendships
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Amanda
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: toddler
This was displayed at story time at the library so Sawyer (19 months) brought this to me. I was a little disturbed by the cover, because, well, I'm not a big fan of clowns and this little clown was ambiguous enough on the cover to make me wary. But by the first page I thought the illustrations were beautiful, the clown was darling, and it brought a smile to my heart. It's a wordless book so some people might be turned off by that but I had no problem coming up with a story to describe each of th ...more
Robin
Illustrations in pencil and gouache.
Largely monochromatic with touches of red.

So much emotion conveyed in these pictures -- how the stiff farmer's posture changes; when the little clown washes his face the reader can see that he's not smiling at all -- he's now a little lost child; how the farmer becomes the clown to cheer him up; the joy at being reunited with his clown family and then that tender hug and kiss for the farmer at the end -- so many awws.

And the final page -- a little homage to Go
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Rebecca
To say too much would be to give away too many of the wonderful details in expression and timing. I thought of the monochromatic farmland that has always existed in my head since I read the Kansas scenes in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." I thought of Helen Oxenbury's babies. I thought of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman. But really, a more perfect example of wordless storytelling doesn't exist. Dare you not to cry.
Chris
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A farmer (who lives alone way out in the country) rescues a baby clown who falls off a circus train. Through days and nights they bond and become very attached to one another - until the train returns and the farmer gets to reunite baby clown to his family.
Happy? Yes. Sad? Yes! Perhaps my current loneliness makes me feel extra, ultra sorry for the poor farmer, but I'm left with such a sad feeling after reading this story!
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it

I have said it before and I will say it again: I am in awe of authors/illustrators who can convey story and range of emotion in wordless picture books. Frazee is a marvelous story-teller and here, in her brand new book, we're treated to the story of a lonely farmer and what happens when he meets a little lost clown. This picture book is gorgeous, the palette feels appropriately subdued; it's a story full of warmth and a touch of melancholy.
Holly
My husband saw this book lying around and thought it looked creepy, but it is anything but. The friendship between the farmer and the clown when the clown accidentally falls off a circus train, is endearing and touching. Told without words, the story is revealed through facial expressions, muted colors with pops of red and yellow, and the playful antics and caring acts that develop a friendship. Cute twist at the end. This book would pair up well with Molly Idle's Flora stories.
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