cover image Farmer George and the Lost Chick-H

Farmer George and the Lost Chick-H

Nick Ward. Pavilion Books, $13.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-86205-281-9

Portly, genial English country farmer George, clad in a tweed jacket with patched elbows, relies upon his barnyard companions in these stories of disaster avoided, the first two in a projected series. It may be his farm, but the animals clearly rule the roost. In the first book, Farmer George and Clarrie the hen ask everyone on the farm whether they've seen her missing chick--who turns up on the farmer's head, under his hat. Ward's (Don't Worry, Grandpa) comic artwork contrasts the agitated fowl's dramatic gestures with the blank faces of all the animals who can't help, including a big, bland bull and the slightly buffoonish and cartoonish farmer. A mouse begs the animals to save her family's home in the second book. The animals form a tower in the path of Farmer George as he obliviously advances atop his combine harvester. When Farmer George spots them and investigates, he makes arrangements to protect the nest--with a big spotted bow and a ""home sweet home"" sign. The last spreads offer black-and-white line drawings for readers to ""trace and colour in,"" which may tempt young readers to apply crayon directly to the paper-over-board books. Youngsters may well wish to follow the further adventures of the endearing, slightly befuddled farmer. Ages 2-4. (Jan.)