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The Picture-Book Club > May 2015: Farmers and Farming (Discuss Our Club Reads Here)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5760 comments Mod
In May, we will discuss the following picture books about Farmers and Farming:

Little Farm by the Sea

This Is the Farmer

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

The Year At Maple Hill Farm

Sixth/Alternate:
Migrant

I look forward to our discussion starting in May!


message 2: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 26, 2015 03:00PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
I am going to start with Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English, as I love and cherish this book. Upon rereading it, I do wish that Alma Flor Ada had included a glossary of some of the Spanish words, especially the fruits and vegetables (and I also think it would have been worthwhile for the author to have mentioned that the word used to describe apricot, chabacano, is a Mexican variant, that in Spain, one would use the word albaricoque). That being said, since this kind of a glossary would likely have made the book way too long, I do understand why Alma Flor Alda did not do this (and it did not and will not change my five star rating and my love of the book, especially since with the Spanish and English text being side by side, most of the Spanish words can generally be figured out through either context or direct comparison).

One thing that I as a language and literature major found really interesting is the fact that some of the Spanish nouns describing fruits/vegetables actually do not seem to have cognates in French and other Romance languages (that could easily be due to the fact that Spain was under Moorish rule for centuries, and that this obviously also affected the language, perhaps not the grammar so much, but definitely the vocabulary). I am pretty sure that the Spanish noun for carrot and orange, zanahoria and naranja, have an Arabic origin.


message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Yes, a detailed glossary would be helpful. Short asides on etymology are a great way to incorporate historical knowledge into children's reading. I'm going to read Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar ChavezHarvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers when I read this selection -- I've gotten into the farm topic...


message 4: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6246 comments Mod
Great choices - most of the authors are well-known and the books should be widely available. I'm going to be reading some runners-up, too.


message 5: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 26, 2015 12:37PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
I was really tempted to nominate Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, but it has already been discussed in the picture book club so I decided not to (but I think I will add it now that the official nomination period is over).


message 6: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 26, 2015 03:02PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English. This is my original review from when I first read the book. Except for the fact that I think that (as I mentioned above) a glossary, even one listing some of the fruits and vegetables in English and Spanish, would have been helpful, I love this book as much now as I did then (still a five star read, still very highly recommended).

A wonderful collection of simple and evocative poems, one for every letter of the Spanish alphabet, this dual-language, lushly and brilliantly illustrated picture book not only captures the sun, the meadows, the fields of Mexico and the Southern United States, it is also an homage to migrant farm workers, to people like César Chavez (to whom this book is dedicated), those individuals who work hard (who must work hard) in the fields so that we can buy and enjoy fresh produce.

The poetical text selections are simple, but rich, full of flavour and nuances, capturing the sights, sounds, tastes of water, tomatoes, beets, showing what farming, what the life of a farm worker is, or can be. Neither too simple nor too complex, Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English can be appreciated by both children and adults, and would be a wonderful teaching and learning tool in beginning Spanish language classes.


message 7: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments I am also looking forward to the alternate title, Migrant. In addition to the migrant worker theme, I want to see more of Isabelle Arsenault's illustrations. I enjoyed her work in Jane, the Fox, and Me.


message 8: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "I am also looking forward to the alternate title, Migrant. In addition to the migrant worker theme, I want to see more of Isabelle Arsenault's illustrations. I enjoyed her work in [b..."

Most people would never consider Mennonites as being possible migrant farm workers (I'm looking forward to the book as well, and the author, Maxine Trottier, has written some really excellent historical children's books).


message 9: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments Little Farm by the Sea by Kay Chorao
A sweet little glimpse into the lives of one family on a small farm. The illustrations, like the text, move gently through the seasons, highlighting the different activities the humans and animals participate in on the farm. Reading this book just made me want to go pet baby animals! I think that my favorite part, however, is that the love that the author feels for this family and their farm is evident throughout the book, both in story and in pictures. I especially love the dedication, to the real Brown farmers who made their farm a "refuge" for the author and her family.


message 10: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments This Is the Farmer by Nancy Tafuri
Cute little book story perfect for little readers with short attention spans! I like how everything on the farm is construed as a team effort!


message 11: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments The Year At Maple Hill Farm by Alice Provensen
I really like this book that tells about the different animal and farm activities during each month of the year. I love how appropriate this story is for little kids who want to learn more about farm animals and farm life. There is plenty of information (what do animals eat, what do they do to keep warm in winter, what if they are sick, etc) and less pleasant aspects of farm life are glossed over or completely ignored (some animals are sold at the end of the year, but it is not mentioned to where or for what purpose they are sold; also, all sick animals get medicine and come out okay). Also, the format of this book, being broken up into individual months, is a fun twist on presenting quite a lot of useful information.


message 12: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Bial (raybial) | 4 comments For more realistic books about farms and farming, I'd suggest any and all of the children's books by Cris Peterson, such as Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More.

Having spent much of my childhood on a farm and published a few children's books about farming, I've always been dismayed that so many children's books about farming are romanticized at best.


message 13: by Angela (last edited Apr 29, 2015 11:05AM) (new)

Angela (awprettybird) In the same vein as Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More suggested by Raymond, but slightly newer is the Sheep on the Family Farm, Chickens on the Family Farm, etc. (pigs, turkeys, cows, goats) series; published by Enslow Elementary. They have great pictures, are clearly written and not too overwhelming for young readers.


message 14: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 29, 2015 04:25PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
To Raymond and Angela! This thread is really just for a discussion on the five listed (and voted on) selections mentioned in the first post. Thus, I think should probably delete your respective comments and move them (including relevant book links) to the master list thread (I think that they are both excellent book choices for the master list, but really belong in that thread and not this one, as this particular folder/thread is really just for discussing the five books voted on from the suggestions on the master list).


message 15: by Ann (new)

Ann Berlak | 13 comments Gundula wrote: "To Raymond and Angela! This thread is really just for a discussion on the five listed (and voted on) selections mentioned in the first post. Thus, I think should probably delete your respective c..."

Hi;
I think Raymond has an important point. Please inform me of how such issues could become part of the discussion?
Thoughtful parents and teachers no longer teach the myth that Columbus "discovered" America. Nor do they tell the Columbus story from the point of view of the "explorers." Teachers and parents may want to provide children with books that tell the truth about agribusiness and its relationship to family farms, and the challenges family farms face in the 21st century. Migrant labor, scarcity of water (in California, for example) and farmworkers' pay and working conditions are important to learn about as is the disappearance of the family farm.

You may remove this comment. I'm new to the list and don't want to interfere with the conventions.


message 16: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 29, 2015 09:20PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "Gundula wrote: "To Raymond and Angela! This thread is really just for a discussion on the five listed (and voted on) selections mentioned in the first post. Thus, I think should probably delete y..."

I agree that Raymond has a good point and one whith which I even agree, but since he was specifically posting about a particular author and a particular book (not on the main discussion list), this would be better (in my opinion) in the general and master list thread. There are actually two books on the list that deal with migrant farm workers, Migrant and Gathering the Sun, which could and probably should be used to discuss some of the issues you have mentioned, and thus, it probably would be better in my opinion to limit discussions about books not covered, not voted on for this month's read to the master list, as people are going to be discussing the books listed in the first comment. Now, this is my own opinion, but I think that I have the right to it, just like you (and perhpas Raymond and Angela) have the right not to agree with it and with me.

And you could also read some of the other books listed in the first thread and if these books paint a naively harmonious and romantic idealism of farming and farmers, this could then be posted and discussed in detail.


message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments I think any children's titles could, in theory, be discussed or mentioned, as could views of their topic or particular content, such as farming - even contentious views - as long as the original books, as chosen by conventions of the group, are being discussed first. I read all the threads here, but don't participate in the monthly topic discussion unless I take the time and make the effort to obtain and read the chosen titles.

Another point that I would like to bring forward is that there are many fine informational series produced for children, but this is a picture-book reading group. Not to sound too pretentious, I believe we are interested in picture books as works of art. We look for the marriage of illustration, text and content, and that elusive quality that provides further connections for both child and adult reader. These aspects may be analyzed and discussed even in simple board books. Even if the book about the dairy cow is very fine in terms of presenting information, I may not have voted for it as a main title for discussion.

I look forward to a lively thread on farming!


message 18: by Angela (new)

Angela (awprettybird) I'm sorry! I'm still getting the hang of these boards and discussion groups. Clearly I should read more and refrain from commenting. Please feel free to remove my comments.


message 19: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Bial (raybial) | 4 comments Didn't mean to cause a ruckus, but was simply making a point about accuracy in children's books. I mentioned several books simply as examples of titles that knowledgeably portray farms and farming to expand the discussion. Angela also suggested several titles that are appreciated by people involved in agriculture. The Ag in the Classroom program has a recommended book list for anyone interested in further reading.


message 20: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Raymond - I'm reading a lot in this topic, so I have reserved Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More and other books mentioned.


message 21: by Fjóla (new)

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 260 comments These comments about more factual books on farming seem valid to me and on topic. But I do agree that it would be useful to see these suggestions in the previous thread as well, so they can become part of the master list and serve as reference ...


message 22: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Raymond wrote: "Didn't mean to cause a ruckus, but was simply making a point about accuracy in children's books. I mentioned several books simply as examples of titles that knowledgeably portray farms and farming ..."

I am going to add Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More and some of the other farm picture books by Cris Petrson to the master list, as well as the books by Chana Stiefel Angela suggested; they really should be part of our list of resources.


message 23: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5760 comments Mod
Raymond and Angela,
Your comments and suggestions are indeed relevant and it would be a shame if they were removed from the group. I believe that Gundula was simply suggesting that they might reach a larger audience, and indeed be more apt to be seen in future months, were they moved to the Master List and Discussion thread (as noted in Fjola's comment above). Please do not feel chastised, simply a friendly suggestion. The focus of this particular thread is on the six books chosen for our discussion so mention of other books, while not prohibited here, is usually done on the Master List thread. You may leave your comments here if you wish, though I do strongly encourage you to make mention of the titles on the Master List. Thanks for contributing to the discussion!


message 24: by Manybooks (last edited May 01, 2015 03:54PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Raymond and Angela,
Your comments and suggestions are indeed relevant and it would be a shame if they were removed from the group. I believe that Gundula was simply suggesting that they might reach..."


It was simply meant as a suggestion, and I have added the books both Angela and Raymond mentioned to tne mster list.


message 25: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5760 comments Mod
Thanks for doing that, Gundula! I'm glad they are part of the Master List.


message 26: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5760 comments Mod
Our library switched to a new server this week and we were unable to check out books for several days so I am behind on the club reads. I was able to get a few today and hope to post back with comments soon.

The only book I have already read (a few years ago) is Little Farm by the Sea and I enjoyed it greatly at the time. I'm looking forward to revisiting it this month. Here is my existing review:

The illustrations really make this book shine! It's all about a "little farm by the sea" and follows a year in the life of the farm and the family. The illustrations are so warm, detailed, sweet and thoughtful. You could almost read this without the words and feel the same connection with what is happening on the farm. Beautiful! The author wrote this as a "thank you" to the owners of the real "little farm by the sea" where she and her family enjoyed many sweet escapes from the bustle of the city. They appreciated the organic produce, the beauty of the crops and flowers, and the opportunity to meet the farm animals.


message 27: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Our library switched to a new server this week and we were unable to check out books for several days so I am behind on the club reads. I was able to get a few today and hope to post back with comm..."

It's too bad that Little Farm by the Sea seems rather hard to find, even on Amazon, sigh (my library does not have it, and I don't want to try ILL because it can take up to a month). I might try ABE books but only if price is reasonable.


message 28: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (last edited May 02, 2015 07:53AM) (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6246 comments Mod
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table
:sigh: If I could keep my houseplants alive, I'd try to squeeze a couple of container vegetables on my deck. I did grow a few tomatoes on the tiny plot of land we had at our previous home, but didn't get many.

In other words, I love the concept of the book, and I hope lots of folks are inspired by it. I just don't know how feasible it really is.

Does anyone here do any container gardening? Can 'Farmer Will's red wiggler worms' work in houseplants? Any other tips?

Edit to add, note the book for adults: The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen et al.


message 29: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6246 comments Mod
Migrant
I struggled, but could not get over my distaste for the art. Unfortunately, distaste might be an understatement, as it's so strong it distracted me from the text. I think the story was well-told, and I think the girl's imaginative talents resonate with the reader....

The concept of the book is definitely creative. It's an interesting subject, and an important one for children to learn about as the world community grows closer but remains diverse.

But I'm still confused, because the second panel of end notes is mostly hidden by my library's markings. These folk travel from Mexico to Canada (by horse and buggy?) every growing season, returning south every winter? How many families live like this (a few hundred, several thousands)?

I should do research, I guess...


message 30: by Fjóla (new)

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 260 comments Cheryl wrote: "Migrant
I struggled, but could not get over my distaste for the art. Unfortunately, distaste might be an understatement, as it's so strong it distracted me from the text. I think..."


I'll admit that turning the first few pages I thought for a moment that I didn't like the illustrations as well as I did in Jane, the Fox, and Me (which I found amazing), but then I sort of got into it. I liked some of the page spreads less and sometimes I thought they looked a bit unfinished, but overall I thought they fitted well with the dreamy, lyrical text. For those who don't have access to the book but are curious about the art you can see some samples in this book blog.

I was also a bit intrigued by the idea of people traveling from Mexico to Canada for work. That's a long way to travel (when you don't have wings). From what I could make out from the end notes (also partly hidden in my copy) the historical reasons were that they - the Mennonites in Mexico - still had Canadian citizenship, thus - I guess - making this possible. The story is from the 1920s but today I doubt it would be economically feasible to fly your whole family up from Mexico for a couple of months of agricultural labor.


message 31: by Fjóla (new)

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 260 comments Cheryl wrote: "Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table
:sigh: If I could keep my houseplants alive, I'd try to squeeze a couple of container vegetables on my deck. I did grow a few tomatoes on t..."


Farmer Will is most definitely an inspiring story, and I think the art should appeal to older kids, adding some hipness and coolness to gardening. It would be great to have more urban gardens of this size, although I'm afraid it would also take a lot more really remarkable people like Will Allen to make that happen. But I suppose a kid could always start with a little compost bin? I used to think you needed a good backyard for a proper compost bin, but now I've seen even these mini ones you can put under your sink in your modern kitchen ...

There's a really good vimeo about the book, again for those who might not have it. One of the book reviews also had a link to a video on the real life Will.


message 32: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Migrant
I struggled, but could not get over my distaste for the art. Unfortunately, distaste might be an understatement, as it's so strong it distracted me from the text. I think..."


I don't think that I am going to like the illustrations either. I know that many like Isabelle Arsenault's artwork and book illustrations, but from my quick perusal of the book, I find them really quite strange and even a bit creepy (the eyes especially give me unwelcome shivers).


message 33: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6246 comments Mod
I do appreciate Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English. Obviously this would be a good book for every library, school or public. I'm not sure who would actually buy it for their kids, though... - ? I didn't particularly 'enjoy' it and I'm not sure if that's just cuz I'm white or not. :shrug:


message 34: by Karen (last edited May 05, 2015 08:32AM) (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments This Is the Farmer

Ok - first things first - in the illustrations of the interior of the farmer's home there is a thing hanging on the wall holding....miniature golf clubs?... kitchen utensils? What is it?

I can picture myself reading this book to an infant or toddler as a one-on-one or laptime read. I would read the simple progressive cause-and-effect text and note the names of objects, animals, colors, et cetera. Nancy Tafuri does this sort of thing very well and indeed the first children's book I ever read to one of my own infants was her similar One Wet Jacket. This is a simple introduction to the idea of farm animals. I like that it begins with the familiar (a labrador and a cat) and moves on to the big impressive cow in a clear, uncluttered sequence from indoors to outdoors to the barn. It reminded me of the similar cause-and-effect sequence in a book that I adore: The Napping House


message 35: by Karen (last edited May 05, 2015 09:31AM) (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Migrant

Waiting for my library branch to receive my copies of the Chorao and Provensen titles , so I'll move on to the alternate - which they had on the shelf!

I actually like this book a lot. Back in my homeschooling days, this would have been one of those books sitting in the center of an informational web. I'm thinking of children ages 4 - 6, but older children and adults can move with the book as well. First, I would point out Mexico, the US, Canada on a map. After reading the Wikipedia article on the history of Mennonites in Mexico, I might point out Russia, too.

[Aside: I knew there were Mennonites in Mexico because I saw the Carlos Reygadas film "Silent Light" - excellent, but not for kids.]

I would pre-read about quilting-particularly the flying geese patterns - monarch butterflies, jackrabbits. Then get to the book - Arsenault's illustrations and their subtle allusions really make the book for me. The flying geese quilt pattern motif, Trottier's text with migrating monarch butterflies, the vaguely Russian feel that the artwork achieves, along with the depiction of a really imaginative child navigating an alien world all combine to make something lovely, subtle, that invites future learning, imagining, thinking.


message 36: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
This is a great biography that would be very interesting, especially for older readers. I loved the chapter formats and the graphic-style illustrations. I wish there were more books like this - biographies geared toward kids and teens about people who have seen a problem and done something about it. I really liked the idea of growing things not necessarily on a farm, but wherever you are! Definitely encourages me to plant a garden this spring in my postage stamp sized yard!


message 37: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments Migrant by Maxine Trottier
At first I didn't like the illustrations, but after reading Karen's comments in message #35 I am re-thinking my opinion. I still wouldn't hang a framed picture of one of these illustrations in my kid's room, but after knowing about the Russian roots of Mexican Mennonites I can see the influences and they make more sense to me. I liked the concept of this story, the little girl and her struggles to fit in in an ever changing world is something that every kid can relate to - even if they aren't migrant farmers.


message 38: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments Gathering the Sun An Alphabet In Spanish And English by Alma Flor Ada
Things I really liked about this book:
-the illustrations are amazing! I love the beautiful golden cast from the setting sun that pulls all the pictures together.
-the way the alphabet is presented. All of the words for each letter are the Spanish words, with English translations (as opposed to the other way around). For example: D is for duranznos, rather than P is for peaches.
Things I didn't like:
-I don't like it when bilingual books are just side by side comparisons of the language. I'd much rather read a book where the two languages intertwine to tell the story - forcing you to read both languages. As it is now, I can just ignore the Spanish words and not learn any of the new language.
-The verses for each of the letters were a tad boring and I found myself looking at the book more for the illustrations than trying to read the actual text.


message 39: by Manybooks (last edited May 05, 2015 05:25PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Sam wrote: "Gathering the Sun An Alphabet In Spanish And English by Alma Flor Ada
Things I really liked about this book:
-the illustrations are amazing! I love the beautiful golden cast from the setting sun..."


For bilingual stories, having languages intertwined can often work (and is sometimes preferable, unless it is a strict dual-text book), but because Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English is an alphabet book, this would not work all that well. If you want something where the story is more intertwined language-wise (and by the same author), try I Love Saturdays y Domingos, which I enjoyed almost as much as Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English

And I guess everyone has different tastes, but I found the verses the absolute opposite of boring, especially the Spanish selections (although I do agree that the translations were not always as intense and flavour and colourful as the Spanish sections, but that unfortunately often happens when poems are translated).


message 40: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I do appreciate Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English. Obviously this would be a good book for every library, school or public. I'm not sure who would actually buy i..."

Well, I totally loved Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English, and I am white, but perhaps part of the reason I loved it so much is because I speak more than one language and have always loved dual-language books.


message 41: by SamZ (new)

SamZ (samwisezbrown) | 220 comments Exactly Gundula, I love the Saturdays y Domingos book, for just that reason! But I do agree that with this book it wouldn't have worked as well. And I wish I read Spanish so that I could enjoy the verses, although it makes sense that they'd lose some of their beauty in translation.


message 42: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Sam, that is unfortunately the often the case with translated poetry.


message 43: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6246 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "This Is the Farmer

Ok - first things first - in the illustrations of the interior of the farmer's home there is a thing hanging on the wall holding....miniature golf clubs?... kitch..."


Pretty sure it's a boot jack...


message 44: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7211 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Karen wrote: "This Is the Farmer

Ok - first things first - in the illustrations of the interior of the farmer's home there is a thing hanging on the wall holding....miniature golf c..."


I think they are the kind of bootjacks that one uses to take cowboy boots off and on (I've seen some historical ones in museums in Alberta and they've always looked a bit like torture instruments to me, although some of the older ones made of bones are interesting). But they do work and that's from personal knowledge and experience with cowboy boots (my mother bought us cowboy boots to wear to the Calgary Stampede).


message 45: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Gundula wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Karen wrote: "This Is the Farmer



Thank you Cheryl and Gundula. Boot jacks. I don't think I've ever seen one, but this makes sense. Must have been for the deleted chapter "The Farmer Gets Dressed" - lol. Not being able to name the object drove me nuts, but also reminded me what it must be like for a child learning to name things in the world.



message 46: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5760 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "This Is the Farmer
I can picture myself reading this book to an infant or toddler as a one-on-one or laptime read."


This is just what I did with my two-year-old and he enjoyed it. He loves animals so I think he was bound to like it (I think he was a bit disappointed there was no tractor on the farm, though, LOL!)

I guess I was hoping for a bit more of a glimpse into the activities on the farm (aside from milking the cow, we didn't really see any "farming" going on) but I agree it's a nice enough book for this age group especially if ones focus is on the animals themselves.


message 47: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments This Is the Farmer. review Very simple text and wonderful illustrations make this perfect for toddlers...and also for those just beginning to read. While I read quite a few of Tafuri's books to my girls when they were younger, this was just too simple for them now.

I can't get Little Farm by the Sea but I hope to get to the others in the next week or so.


message 48: by Karen (last edited May 19, 2015 06:24AM) (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Little Farm by the Sea

I thought this was ok. It didn't strike me as a particularly memorable trip to the farm (farm fatigue?). It was nice that there were donkeys and some machines and farm equipment like the egg washer and greenhouses.


message 49: by Karen (last edited May 19, 2015 06:51AM) (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) | 52 comments Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm

I like this much better than the Kay Chorao selection. I can see a child wanting this reread over and over again as the personalities of each animal are depicted so well. The playful air reminds me a little of my favorite book in this category, My Farm, so that each becomes a book about childhood as much as about the farm. And I liked the honesty about animals who appear stupid or ill-tempered.

I forgot to mention that Good Old Little Red Hen has eleven chicks instead of ten - is this deliberate? Every child will count...


message 50: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited May 19, 2015 06:46AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5760 comments Mod
I think that Migrant is beautifully told. It is so poetic and touching; I loved how the girl likened herself to various animals they encounter and how the hardships of their life were touched upon but that there was also some coziness to the family working so closely together.

I do feel that, as a stand-alone, the story fails in fully conveying the story of these farm workers, though. If one knew absolutely nothing about it going into the story (as, I suppose, most children would) it leaves many holes. The Author's Note does help some, but, like Cheryl, I wanted more. Fortunately, we are in the age of the internet where we can do more research (Karen, I like your ideas!) but I still wish that the book had provided a bit more. It was excellent in conveying the feeling and experience of the girl, though.

As for the illustrations, they were not my personal cup of tea, but I really appreciated them and felt they really helped to bring the text alive; I appreciated the Russian influences and the illustration that really sticks in my mind is of all the girls snuggled up in bed like kittens.


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