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Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary Hardcover – February 9, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—This homage to the shelter for neglected and abused farm animals where Gottfried served as a volunteer is a book of poems and accompanying paintings that will raise awareness both of the Sanctuary and the sad reasons for which such a place exists. But it has more to recommend it. The poems are "narrated" by some of the shelter's inhabitants: Gabriella, a bantam chicken; Maya, a cow; Diego, a duck; and others. The quality of the poetry is uneven; the tendency to waver between rhymed meter and free verse is unsettling. Still, there's a disarming innocence throughout, and the best of the selections are enchanting. Zakanitch's illustrations are superb. Each one is a collectible work of art, exhibiting a masterful technique, tenderness, subtlety, and humor. Readers will halt nervously when they meet the glowering eye of the rooster and will want to reach out and touch the thick wooly head of the sheep. Childlike sketches are sometimes mixed in with the watercolor and ink paintings, lending them an easy informality. Splendid to look at, pleasant to read, Our Farm is also a fine springboard for talking about the real lives of farm animals in America.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The creatures on an animal sanctuary provide the voices in this collection of playful poetry. Illustrated with large, handsome portraits of individual animals in watercolor, pencil, and ink, the poems on each double-page spread feature an animal that speaks about the bliss of living naturally in grass and dirt and roaming freely. Included are a piglet (I’m free! / And I’m running, / and oh / I can feel the sun on my snout), a bantam chicken, a goat, and a rabbit: See me in the grass? / Maybe I will hop to food / . . . Or go sniff pansies. A long final note fills in details of the farm sanctuary movement, which rescues neglected animals from factory farms, stockyards, and other cruel homes. There are few books for young kids on this subject. From the cover image of one vulnerable lamb to the farm overviews on the endpapers, the physical images about the joy of home will move young animal lovers. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375861181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375861185
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maya Gottfried's books for children, "Good Dog" (Knopf), and "Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary" (Knopf) both lovingly celebrate the individual personalities and unique spirits of animals through poetry.

In addition to her children's books, she has written various essays, blogs, and articles that have appeared in outlets ranging from "The Huffington Post" to "Lilith magazine." Her essay "Untitled," published in the anthology "Half / Life: Jewish Tales from Interfaith Homes," was consistently picked as a favorite of the collection by reviewers.

One of Gottfried's books received the honor of a Parents' Choice 2003 Recommended Award and she received the Pennsylvania School Librarians Young Reader's Choice Award for "Good Dog." Additionally, "Good Dog" was honored as a Texas Blue Bonnet Award nominee. "Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary" was selected as the official children's companion to Jonathan Safran Foer's "New York Times" bestseller "Eating Animals" for Fairfield, CT's month-long "One Book, One Town" program. "Our Farm" also received a great deal of media attention, including coverage in "Kirkus," "New York Daily News," "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review" and, "Minneapolis Star-Tribune."

Maya lives in Beacon, NY with her partner, Dietrich and two cats, Lucian and Bunny. She recently moved back to the Hudson Valley area after falling in love with it two decades before as a student at Bard College.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Not all farm life is tranquil as on Old Macdonald's farm and on the Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York, a sanctuary that "promotes compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy." Some animals on farms are mistreated and have found a new home in its rolling pastures and farm yard. In this book you will hear many of the animals talk about themselves in verse. They rollick, frolic, shy away from you, tell you how they lay in the sun, shake their tails, or strut around the barnyard as they invite you to get a glimpse into their lives in their new home.

A Flower's Life
by Violet, a pig

My name is Violet, and I am a flower:

See:

My bed is made of grass.
My hooves are planted firmly in the dirt.
I perk up like a daffodil after it rains,
And I smell sweet, like a lily.
(I take a sunbath nearly every day!)

I must be a flower;
Truly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to roll in the mud.

You'll be delighted to meet the animals as they talk about their lives in their very own creative verse. This charming book will introduce the reader to a wide variety of farm animals and their interesting personalities. You will meet Maya the cow, Mayfly the rooster, J.D. the piglet, Gabriella the bantam chicken, Clarabell the goat, several adorable ducklings, Ramsey the ram, Whisper the turkey, Bonnie the donkey, Violet the pig, Ari and Alicia the baby goats, Whitaker the calf, Diego the duck, Hilda the ewe, and Cece and Barnaby, the rabbits.

The artwork is very appealing and is sure to please the little ones whom, I'm sure, will treat you to many imaginative animal sounds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Scranton on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My kids, ages 4 & 7 squeal with laughter every time we read about JD the Piglet. The artwork and poems remind me of my childhood on an Indiana farm and all the times I tried to commune with the animals, when clearly they weren't too keen on the notion (read Ramses the ram). This book also reminds me that I really need to share first-hand the joy of watching silly piglets and curious in-your-face goat kids with my suburban-reared children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan B. Barry on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an admirer of this author-illustrator team, I thought it couldn't get any better than Good Dog. But Our Farm does. It doesn't get any better than Gottfried's Violet the Pig whose self-image brings a smile whenever I think of it. I have ordered more for children and friends in my life, and recommend it highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best children's books I've ever read (and I'm no Spring chicken). The illustrations are exquisite. I love that the designer included the illustrator's sketches. The poems are whimsical and touching. Opening this book always makes me smile.
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Format: Hardcover
OUR FARM: BY THE ANIMALS OF FARM SANCTUARY pairs Maya Gottfried's fine photos with paintings by Robert Rahway Zakanitch to provide a lovely farm collection perfect for spring. The water-and-ink drawings accompanying each poem are packed with animal personality and lots of fun!
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By amrolih80 on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We gave this as a gift and the recipient loved it! A fun mix of poems about a topic she loves.
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