The Farmer

Mark S. Ludy, Author Green Pastures Publishing $18.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-9664276-0-8
A jolly farmer faces both the bounty and wrath of nature--and prays to God in good times and bad--in this picture book about faith and perseverance. A rotund farmer with a fluffy white beard works hard tending his animals and crops, only to have his endeavors wiped out first by a tornado, then by a devastating fire set by neighbor boys. He patiently rebuilds each time, appreciating even the smallest signs of growth and recovery. And even in his hardship, the farmer does not forget the ill-behaved neighbors in their time of need. Ludy embodies his farmer with the traits of such biblical figures as Job and Noah while emphasizing prayer as a constant in the farmer's life. A few passages of text directed at the reader prove jarring (""Have you noticed Squeakers [the pig]?""), but in all, the tale unfolds smoothly. The illustrations are busy but focused, with most of the characters rendered in a mannered cartoon style (although some of the animals look out of place, a little Disney-ish). The settings combine detailed foregrounds with abstract (perhaps computer-generated?) backgrounds. Samples are posted on the publisher's Web site, at www. greenpastures.com. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
Genre: Children's
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