Beach ) creates a joyful tribute to family farms in this luminous and lyrical picture book. The text is stately, quiet, and poetic (“Morning chores "/>

Farm

Elisha Cooper, Author . Scholastic/Orchard $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-545-07075-1

Cooper (Beach ) creates a joyful tribute to family farms in this luminous and lyrical picture book. The text is stately, quiet, and poetic (“Morning chores would be better if they didn't happen every morning”), and the book slowly takes readers through a year of planting, good and bad weather, and ordinary details about farm life. At the same time, Cooper includes enough specific portraits and names to make the book seem like a felicitous cross between fiction and nonfiction. Like a puzzlemaker, Cooper begins with a sequence of cumulative phrases and sketchbook-style paintings: “Take a farmer, another farmer, a boy, a girl. Add a house, two barns, four silos.... Then cattle, chickens, countless cats, a dog. Put them all together and you get...” A page turn reveals “...a farm,” broad and serene, stretched across the palest of skies. Delicately shaded watercolors, outlined in black, are a mix of spot art, clustered images, and spectacular spreads that portray the farm and its inhabitants from diverse points of view. The graceful text and serenely stunning illustrations create a portrait both reverent and realistic. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/15/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
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