Old MacDonald Had a Farm
by Gris Grimly
Orchard Books, 2017
Every child knows the song, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, but this book has a GREAT BIG surprise ending! Author/artist Gris Grimly, raised on a farm and now lives in a city, decided to share his family’s version of this song with young readers. His illustrations are fun, action-filled, and include several surprises and sub-stories to delight the visually alert readers, including a ‘heart’ patch on the farmer’s overalls. A great family story.
Back matter includes a brief history of the song—an early version sung during WWI—its music, as well as old-timey pictures of Gris Grimly’s farming family.
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Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!
by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Lori Nichols
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017
Kids will love this poetic, interactive, guess which animal comes next story about animals on the farm. The story opens with a girl snuggled in her bed on the farm. Then, when pig “toddled to his sty, waddley-jog, Mooo!, Who do you think he found?” When each animal found goes to his/her own bed, they find another, until the house cat snuggles in bed with the girl. Filled with light humor, like when the horse was found in the tiny chicken coop!
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Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm
By Jon Katz
Henry Holt and Company, 2011
With truly an eye for the picture and a heart for dogs, best-selling adult author Jon Katz brings the two together in his first picture book for children, Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He gently tells the story of how his four dogs came to join him at Bedlam Farm and what jobs they do. Through brilliant photo journalism and masterful storytelling, we see Border Collie Rose in the snow herding sheep. We see Border Collie Izzy, who was abandoned and alone until he joined Bedlam Farm, comfort sick people. We see Frieda, part Rottweiler and part German Shepherd and formerly a wild dog, protect the farm from foxes and coyotes. In each dog’s photo story we see Lenore, and throughout the story Katz asks: What is Lenore’s job?
Black Labrador retriever Lenore “…licks the other dogs, touches noses and wags her tail. She makes sure everyone is happy.” She’s the one that tamed Frieda, comforted a frightened Izzy and taught a hard-working Rose how to play. “Her job is loving and accepting and having patience.” “Thanks to Lenore, the dogs are a family.” Katz’ book is an ideal book for dog lovers, the perfect book for any young child.
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Minerva Louise at School
Janet Morgan Stoeke
Dutton Children’s Books, 1996
Minerva Louise at School is about a chicken who goes out for her morning walk and happens upon a new barn (school). She interprets what she sees in her own terms of barn life. She worries about a baby chick (fish) and fluffs up a nest with straw (pencils). It’s a clever book on perspectives and funny in its innocence, for the chicken has no idea the school was meant for children.
This classic story is one of a dozen Minerva Louise books available. The power of Minerva Louise stories is how the illustrations show a story different from the words. Simple, loosely drawn illustrations in bright colors attract the attention of the youngest readers.
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by Loren Long
Philomel Books 2009
This heartfelt story of an old tractor who is the only one who can save a calf became a classic when it hit the stores.
Otis, an old farm tractor, befriends a calf. They leap-frog hay bales, play ring-around-the-rosy with ducks, and sit together under the apple tree. Then one day the farmer brings in a new, bigger, yellow tractor and Otis is sent behind the barn. Forgotten, weeds begin to cover Otis’ tires. The calf tries to get Otis to play, like in the old days, but Otis is too sad. One day the calf gets stuck in the mud! Farm hands try to pull him out, the yellow tractor tries to pull him out, even firemen try to pull him out, but the calf only gets more and more scared and sinks further in the mud. Then the calf hears a familiar puttering purr! Happy to see his best friend, the calf follows his friend as Otis circles the pond. Soon the calf gets himself out. Otis is a heart-warming story of best friends.
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