A combination oral history, scrapbook, almanac, recipe sampler, and photo album, Cracked Corn and Snow Ice Cream
will be a pleasure for any child or adult. Those who loved the Little House
books will especially enjoy the rural recollections here. The book is crammed with photos and funny facts (33 cows will fit into a classroom), poems and farming lore, home arts, jokes, moon phases, and riddles, all appearing in a month-by-month format. Jane Dyer's magical illustrations complement the photos and the text.
Cracked Corn and Snow Ice Cream is a perfect treat for anyone who has (or wishes to have) a strong sense of family or history, for grandparents who want to share memories with children, or for people sending a gift to children they don't know well. (The publisher recommends this book for all ages, but children ages 4 and older will enjoy the text the most.)
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-6?Willard and Dyer have joined creative forces to produce a charming book that escorts readers back in time, pulling together interesting and useful information on weather, planting, cooking, etc. Children are told, "Pretend you are reading The Farmer's Almanac, which tells you about weather and days to remember and how to grow a pumpkin so big you could sleep in it. Pretend it's 1911 or 1920, and the snow is so deep you can't even find the road." What personalizes this title is "The Voices" section found in each month. For this, Willard interviewed members of her own family and retrieved memories that she masterfully pairs with old photographs. The result is a warm conversation full of fascinating tidbits about farm life in the Midwest. In addition, each of the four seasons is introduced with double-page spreads of remarkably clear photographs from her family's albums. Youngsters will linger over these, paging back and forth, matching faces to names and comments, studying details. Great care is taken throughout to select inclusive information. Thus, significant dates and festivals from many cultural traditions appear, and the introductory poem for each month reflects that diversity. The text is exquisitely illustrated with hand lettering and beautiful watercolor details, filling the space with visual data and a sense of the past. This is a book that invites participation, encourages conversation between the generations, and storytelling.?Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
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