Posts tagged ‘farm life’

FOWLED AGAIN

The Easter Rooster

Written by Daniel Williamson

Illustrated by Kleverton Monteiro

This rhyming picture book written in British English laments the fate of a rooster who cannot protect the chickens’ eggs on Easter. The rooster vows that this year will be different. He tries his best but falls asleep while counting sheep.

Undeterred, the rooster traces the path of the bunny thief and attempts to retrieve the eggs. Will he succeed in returning them to the farm? Will the children waiting for their Easter eggs be disappointed?

Read this picture book to find out. Recommended for preschool and primary grade readers.

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SOMEDAY…

A Farm Called Someday: A Novel of 1950s Montana

Written by Penelope Merrell

This middle-grade novel provides a fascinating glimpse into one family’s growth and evolution. The narrator is one of four sisters who describes her coming of age within a family that matures along with her.

Valene loves to write. The reader is treated to her reminiscences through her journal. It describes the struggles of a family who are fiercely devoted to each other yet defined by distinct differences. Valene loves horses and dreams of owning one Her family needs to make many sacrifices before they can buy their own farm. The word someday always seems far off. That is why Valene thinks it is the perfect name for their farm.

Readers learn what life is like growing up on a farm. How does one feed and care for animals, and live without conveniences like central heat and running water? Merrell’s drawings help readers visualize what a 50s washing machine and iron look like. She describes the stringing of lines for telephones, and the Sears Wish Book Catalog.

Many of the trials and tribulations of growing up have not changed. Teasing, bullying, and jockeying for power among siblings are still present. Merrell brings her characters to life. Today’s youth learn a lot about the past and how to appreciate modern conveniences, while getting a good flavor of living on a 1950s Montana farm.

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MANGO SURPRISE

Don’t Go Mango Picking: A Scary Island Story

Written and Illustrated by D.H. Gibbs

This tale is a beginning chapter book set in the Caribbean. Deanna and her Aunt Sandy are spending part of their summer vacation at their grandmother’s farm in the bush. The girls work in the mornings doing chores like collecting eggs, feeding the pigs and picking peas. While the rest of the day contains free time, there are few modern conveniences like television and radio. Grandma has warned them not to stay out after dark or play with Molly. This young neighbor seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. Of course one day when no one is around, Molly persuades the girls to sneak into Mr. Forhan’s yard to pick the mangoes off his trees. What happens when the girls encounter a Lagahoo? What is a Lagahoo, you ask? Read this short chapter book to find out.

This story is under forty pages and contains some unique black and white illustrations. The setting, simple text and unusual story line combine to offer an interesting adventure story for the beginning or reluctant reader. Recommended especially for children in the six to eight age range.

I received a copy of this book and voluntarily decided to review for no compensation with my honest opinions.

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A YEAR ON THE FARM

Toby’s Tails: Still Wagging (Fantasy Farm Tales Book 4)

Written by Susan Keefe

Tobywaggingtales,pic

Toby, the Border Collie, narrates his adventures at Fantasy Farm in France. He lives with two humans and an assortment of farm animals with whom he shares many adventures. Readers learn a lot about Toby as well as real life facts about life on the farm.

The first book tells about Toby’s first year of life and how he was trained to be a proper border collie. In this book, readers are treated to adventures on the farm throughout the seasons from spring, summer, autumn and back to winter. Toby meets Scarlet, a squirrel who introduces us to her drey and new babies. On a car trip, Toby explains what log lorries are, we meet some bees in the meadow pollinating plants, and noisy baby goats who are growing fast. Young readers learn about the differences between a mouse and a vole, the arrival of the swallows and the wrens. At the market, mum buys fresh vegetables and guinea fowl. Of course, there must be a mystery adventure. When Henrietta, a brown hen is missing, Toby is on red alert. Readers learn about rabbits and how they breed in the spring. Toby has quite a strange experience when the family decides to go on a picnic and Mum has an interesting experience with stick insects. Mum is excited when a horse named Marine comes to live on their farm. As the season turns to autumn, the slow worms emerge to do their work. In practically no time at all, frost has returned and winter is just around the corner. How will the animals on the farm adapt and change?

Love this approach to teaching children about animals and life on a real farm in the countryside. The photos are beautiful and charming. This chapter book of a little more than fifty pages could be broken up in sections as a classroom read aloud. There is a lot of information packed within the pages. Perfect choice for an eight to ten year old who loves animals.

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ROSCO to the RESCUE

Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch

Written by Shana Gorian

Illustrated by Ros Webb

Rosco,pic

James and Mandy McKendrick live on a farm. They look forward to their annual adventure in late September to the pumpkin patch where they will walk the corn maze, go for a hayride, visit the petting zoo, ride a pony, and of course, find the perfect pumpkin. This year they are bringing their German shepherd pup named Rosco Their mischievous pup promptly finds himself in trouble by stealing another family’s pumpkin. In quick sequence Rosco  gets into more mischief by opening the door and releasing baby sheep. He finds trouble on the hayride, but manages to redeem himself as a hero when James and Mandy get lost in the corn maze. Dad has a reputation to maintain; will he manage to find the children and still have the time to find the perfect pumpkin to carve? After all, every year James has managed to carve the best jack-o-lantern in the neighborhood. When all is said and done, the McKendrick family have an exciting day at the pumpkin patch, while learning valuable lessons in the process.

This chapter book is targeted for children in the six to eight age range. Illustrations add charm to the story, but they are quite small in the kindle version The tale could be broken up into a classroom read aloud or independent reader for second or third graders. Nice change of pace from the more common Halloween spooky story for kids.

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OPPOSITES ATTRACT

What A Pair! Mattie and Mark Miller:Double Trouble Series

Written by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Whatapair,pic

This is the first in a series focused on the Amish way of life and nine year old twins, Mattie and Mark. Targeted for middle grade readers ages eight through twelve, the book is a fun and educational introduction to a way of life misunderstood by most observers.

Brunstetter begins by explaining that the Amish are group of people who live a plain life without using many modern things; a simple plausible way to explain to children why they are different but not strange. The author goes on to give examples as to how they live and work both in the past and present.

She provides a glossary of the Amish language words which are used liberally throughout the story. Readers will love these feisty twins with diametrically opposed personalities. What they do have in common is a love of life, family, and kind hearts. For example, Mattie is a dreamer, Mark a scholar, Mattie is cautious, Mark an adventurer, Mattie loves dogs, and Mark loves cats. Mattie is a great baseball player, while Mark cringes when he sees a bat and ball. As the reader follows one humorous adventure after another, what comes through is deep commitment to family, society and community, and a story about two children experiencing the same problems any tween faces. The book will appeal to both genders.

On their birthday, the twins receive an unexpected gift from their grandparents. This gift will require them to learn how to work together. When an unexpected emergency arises, the twins learn the real value of teamwork. The plot has lots of twists and turns and many different scenarios to appeal to a wide variety of reader interests. Text is interesting and challenging, yet not too overwhelming. Lots of humor, adventure, family fun, good values and the benefit of learning about a culture few have experienced first hand. Highly recommended for tweens and young adult readers or anyone interested in understanding Amish society.

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