Here is the second installment of my favorite farm books. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have so many favorite farm books that I needed to make this a two-part blog. These books were published after my sons grew up, but many of them came out while I was teaching kindergarten, and they are the ones that my students loved and wanted to read over and over again. I hope you enjoy them, too.
Stink Soup by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Roger Roth.
Stink Soup is a delightful story about a brother and sister (Willie and Annabelle) who go to the country to spend a week on the farm with their grandmother. The big project of the week is canning the mountain of tomatoes. But as Annabelle spends the days helping her granny her brother Willie is spending his time getting into trouble around the farm. He hooks a cart up to the poor old goat and takes him for a wild ride, he lassoes the chickens, goes skinny-dipping in the pond, climbs the windmill and uses the eggs he gathered to throw at the target he drew on the side of the barn. Then one day he forgets to close the cellar door and a “polecat” (skunk) finds its way into the cellar. When granny is luring it out with fresh eggs Willie takes things into his own hands and runs at the skunk yelling and trying to chase it out. You know what happens next-a smell like no other! And if you or your pet have ever been sprayed by a skunk you know that the only thing that gets rid of that awful smell is tomato juice. Guess what happens to all of the tomato juice that Annabelle and Granny canned? But there’s plenty more tomatoes on the vines, much to Annabelle’s dismay. This book has wonderful illustrations that paired with the text makes it a great read!
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond
I love any book by Margaret Wise Brown. She is one of my favorite children’s book authors and her simplicity in text makes her books easily understood by young children. This book is written in rhyme, which is a wonderful way to familiarize children to one of the most basic phonemic awareness skills that helps promote future reading ability. As we go around the farm Brown introduces us to all of the farm animals, old and young. As we all know, young children love to make animal sounds, and this book is full of them. Brown uses simple text, yet has some great vocabulary words in the book that children may not be familiar with. This creates a wonderful learning opportunity. The illustrations are beautiful and realistic, and drawn by one of my favorite illustrators. Felicia Bond also illustrates the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” books.
Farm by Elisha Cooper
I would recommend this book for older children (kindergarten and up), but I believe all children would enjoy it. On the dedication page there is a glossary of farm terms which is helpful to those who are unfamiliar with farms. This book takes us through the daily life on a farm from Spring through Fall. The author talks about each of the animals, the chores the kids need to do, and what the farmers and the farm hands do. I love the way that Cooper describes life on the farm: ”To the west is a hog farm. No one likes it when the wind is from that direction.” She also covers from planting to harvesting, how the weather affects daily life on a farm, and includes all of the activities the children engage in. This is a great book that depicts in detail of life on a farm. It is one of the longest children’s books I’ve seen, but there is so much good (and accurate) information in this book that I highly recommend it.
The Doreen Cronin collection: Click, Clack, Moo – Cows that Type; Dooby Dooby Dooby Moo;Click Clack Quackety Quiack; Click Clack, Splish Splash; Giggle Giggle Quack; Click Clack Boo: A Tricky Treat…and many more.
For this section I am going to focus on one of my favorite authors (Doreen Cronin) and illustrators (Betsy Lewin) who have published this wonderful collection of farm books. These books all take place on a farm belonging to Farmer Brown, who is always suspicious that his animals are up to something. He has good reason to feel this way since the animals are mischievous and always wanting to try new things, from borrowing a typewriter and sending Farmer Brown letters to convince him to take a vacation (Click Clack Moo – Cows that Type), to performing in the county fair talent show in order to win a trampoline (Dooby Dooby Moo). Among this series are a counting book (Click Clack Splish Splash), an alphabet book (Click Clack Quackety Quack) and numerous others that will bring a smile to any child’s face. These books are fun for kids as well as adults, and the series will not disappoint.