From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K-With rhyming verse that calls to mind Bill Martin, Jr.'s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Holt, 1983), this concept book takes children on a tour of Farmer Dan's farm. The excursion begins with "Red barn, red barn, what are you keeping?/One rumbling tractor ready for reaping,/One baler, one sower,/one thresher, one mower./This is the farm life-but only a part." The pages take readers through blue, green, brown, and gray barns, and the numbers from 1 to 10, before coming home to the "White house, white house-./This is the farm life-the whole and the heart." The lighthearted lilt of the verses is reflected in the sketchy style of the paintings. Done in watercolor and pen and ink, the illustrations capture the essence of the rhyme, and offer a story of their own and a touch of humor. The sleepy sows lounge on their backs in very humanlike poses, and Farmer Dan and his piglets have similar contented smiles. The spreads are subtly linked by small details. The green barn appears on the horizon as children read about the blue one. Nearly unseen next to the green barn is a kitten from the upcoming page. The font, with a large handwritten look, fits stylistically with the illustrations. The division of the verses works smoothly and allows the art to show each animal, crop, or piece of equipment mentioned. A farm glossary is appended, but the book is not an information source on farm life. It is an attractive introduction to some basic colors and numbers.-Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 1. From its opening lines, "Red barn, red barn, what are you keeping? One rumbling tractor ready for reaping," this innovative concept book is off at a trot, teaching basic colors and numbers from 1 to 10 while exploring a traditional family-run farm. Bjorkman's energetic watercolors reveal the contents of each farm building. Six cuddly kittens can be counted in the green barn's loft; seven heifers are sheltered in the brown barn surrounded by muddy muck; nine sows sleep in humorous poses in the hay. The lilting rhyme repeats, encompassing each building and animal into a view of farm life that leads up to "the whole and the heart" of the farm--the nuclear family in the tidy, white farmhouse, where two children play, Mom is in the kitchen, and Dad comes in from his chores. The concluding double-page picture of the entire farm underscores the book's warm and idyllic, if perhaps old-fashioned, image of farm life. Ellen Mandel
See all Editorial Reviews
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved