cover image Cuckoobush Farm

Cuckoobush Farm

Dick King-Smith. Greenwillow Books, $0 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07681-8

As the seasons change, so do the rhythms and activities of Cuckoobush Farm. In spring, there are newborn lambs in the field; in summer, the garden grows, and the hay is cut and baled. Autumn brings the sowing of winter wheat; and, when winter comes, the animals are snug in their paddocks. Against this backdrop, Hazel becomes the sister of newborn twins, whose arrival she accepts with the same enthusiasm she feels for the baby animals on the farm. In deceptively simple text, King-Smith presents an astonishing array of farm activities. He also captures the soothing lilt of the season's cycles and the ways in which new life blooms each spring. The sole dissonant note is an isolated mention of a ``hungry fox slinking through the farmyard''an ominous reference that is never put in context or pursued. Kazuko's debut in children's book illustration is a festive and welcome one. Using brightly colored shapes and paper cutouts, she creates a world of bold constrasts, simple yet arresting figures and patterns, and eye-catching, flat perspectivesa visual bounty for readers to reap. Ages 5-up. (August)