Customer Reviews: Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm
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on December 9, 2007
Quite a bit has changed about the world we live in, but it's wonderful to know that our friends at Maple Hill Farm are still keeping it real. This was one of my favorite books as a child and I can't wait to read it to my son (due in January.) I just ordered a new copy of this book and was so pleased to read it again and realize how fun it is to read as an adult. I love that there's no quest, no competition, no major challenges- it's just life on a farm with lots of real animals that have unique personalities.

It's exciting because all of animals are fun and goofy and they do all the usual things that chickens, goats, cats, horses, dogs and sheep do. The cats catch snakes and move kittens around, the horses get dirty and chase each other, the chickens eat ants and take sun baths, the dogs bark at geese and chew up pillows. None of them wear clothes, talk or drive cars, and I kind of find it refreshing. Not that there's anything wrong with fantasy, but I love that reality can be just as entertaining for kids and adults.

And, yeah, I did start crying when I got to the end- the quiet corner of the woods where the animals of the past were buried. It's not maudlin or overtly tugging on your heartstrings- it's just real. That's what makes this book such a great read.
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VINE VOICEon February 6, 2002
I still have my original - it's a book near and dear to my heart. The illustrations are rich, varied and colorful while the story is enjoyable and down to earth.
I always found the last few pages to be kind of sad, especially the spot about the lonely secton of the woods where the old dogs are buried. (I still get a little twinge of sadness when I see the illustration!) If you've ever lived on a farm you will relate to the items in the story. While some people may feel some of the items are a little harsh (i.e the "bad dogs" section), DO NOT let that steer you away from picking this book up. It's a wonderful book that has been appreciated by many people for many years and will continue to be appreciated for many years to come.
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on February 7, 2003
I was 3 years or so when my mom starting reading me this book. It's one of the most memorable events of my childhood. Now my book is falling apart but my son, who is almost 4, can say every line with me. It is so charming and funny. Tonight I sat down to try and find a replacement for my old book and was delighted to find it on Amazon. All my friends want it for their children too. I hope Alice and Martin know who much it means to all of us. Thanks and keep it for generations
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on October 1, 2003
This was my all-time-favorite book growing up as a child--I literally read it until it was falling apart at the seams. I loved the wry humor of it and they way that it didn't "talk down" to kids, like a lot of other children's books in the seventies (as I remember them, anyway). When my mother and I learned it was going out of print (this was probably the late eighties), my mom bought all the copies she could find, and kept them in her closet to give to the young children her nieces and nephews kept having. And I think there is still the last copy hidded away in that closet for my as-yet-unborn child. I searched for it here on a lark, and I am so happy to see it back in print for a whole other generation to enjoy!! I definitely be buying copies for all the children of my friends!
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on June 16, 2007
My mom saved the original book for me, and we purchased a new copy (paperback) only after our suitcase containing the original hardback was stolen (!) Our girls (ages 3 and 7) adore this book - and so do we.

The book tells about the different animals on the farm. Over several pages, for example, Mrs. Provensen tell about the four cats who live at Maple Hill farm: Gooseberry, who is a good mother; Eggnog, who is beautiful but not interresting; Willow, who is old; and Max, who is big, likes cottage cheese, but is not very clever with his claws. In a series of drawings, we see what the cats do around the farm. The girls love it - they laugh and giggle and listen intently.

The dogs, horses, sheep, and chickens all get similar treatment. We give this book to friends, as it is off the mainstream 'radar' of good books: we are sure they won't have it, and we are sure their kids will love it as our do.
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on August 15, 2015
My daughter is almost three and she loves this book. Nice thing is I love it too. John Hodgman recommended it and I'm glad I took his word for it. You can tell the authors based it on real animals they've cared for and known as friends. The illustrations are great, there's more here than can be experienced in one sitting or one reading.
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on June 18, 2015
I LOVED "Maple Hill Farm" books as a kid. They translate well enough into today, although you can tell they were written some time ago. Still, I appreciate the clear, concise sentences and the feeling you're hearing stories from an entertaining neighbor.
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on November 17, 1998
Unforgettable characters and illustrations grace this perfectly written tour of Maple Hill Farm. With nonpariel style and humor, children are introduced to the true beauty of rural life in the United States. A classic in its own time, this book is sure to delight everyone who discovers its candid beauty.
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on October 26, 2014
I love this book. Bought it for my daughters after we read Provensen's book about the seasons (Year at Maple Hill Farm), and liked this one even better. Anybody who has ever lived on a farm will be delighted with not just the illustrations, but the descriptions of the animals, from the ornery and stubborn, the arrogant and lazy, to the gentle and charming. Living on 70 acres, we've had many animals, from donkeys, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, cats, rabbits, dogs, turtles, fish, even down to the field mice that keep finding their way into our kitchen, and I felt like we were reading about our life. Animals that obey your every command, never make a mess, and live forever are all very admirable, but hardly realistic. This book is funny, and spot-on real life. I'd especially recommend it for kids who've never been around farm animals. It's quite an eye-opener.
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on April 26, 2015
This absolutely beautiful book was a favorite 30 years ago and now we're buying it for the grandchildren. It tells about life on the farm as it truly is joyful, sad, and seductive. It is no Old McDonald but a marvelous rendition that will have you laughing and crying.
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