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‘The Pug and the Hen’ is a picture book by Diane K. Yorke that is filled with charming and bright illustrations. Hetty Hen is in training to lay eggs, but she’s bored and wants to “fly the coop” and have an adventure. So she and her friend Pug set off to explore, meeting a new character on their journey. A part of the ‘Puggy Tales’ series, this book is focused on friendship and adventure while sharing messages of kindness, gratitude, and tolerance. I loved the illustrations throughout and the slight twist in expectations at the end. In this fifth book in the series, Hetty Hen is definitely the main character, ‘The Pug and the Hen’ follows her dreams of freedom and adventure. I would have liked to know a little bit more about Pug, and perhaps hear from him a little more in this story, but I’m sure we'll learn more about him by reading the other books in the series. This is a charming story, with great images that I think will capture young readers’ attention. There are nice messages in here that are subtly delivered, and I’m sure both parent and child will have fun reading through this series together. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
We all know what cows do on a farm, whether it’s Old Macdonald’s or someone else’s: they go ‘Moo!’, cows go, ‘Moo!’. Well, meet the cows on Farmer George’s farm: these cows go … wait, where did all the cows go? A perfectly placed turn of the page here reveals these cows going, ‘Boo!’, and very loudly! The joke is repeated three times for maximum comic effect before Farmer George works out a way to take back control. It will come as no surprise to readers that the cows still outsmart him and have the last, ‘Moo!’. A lot more anarchic than the average picture book farmyard tale and all the better for it, this demands to be read loudly and repeatedly. Kids will love it!
'Tiny Polly: The story of a brave chicken' is a little book with a big message. Written by Jinan Samman and beautifully illustrated in watercolour by Evgeniya Kozhevnikova, it can be shared with young children but is also simple enough to be tackled by beginner readers on their own. Polly lives on a farm with other chickens but because of her small size, she is not included in any of their activities. Desperate to be like the others, she tries to make herself grow but to no avail. It takes a serious occurrence when the farmer is away at market before the flock realises that Polly is more than worthy of their respect and friendship and that differences are to be praised not condemned. Her courage and ingenuity win acceptance in the end and her self esteem is really boosted. Children will more than likely pick up on the bullying by the bigger chickens and relate this to their own experiences, so the story is an excellent way to encourage the sharing of any concerns. Even if this is not a problem though, young children will surely appreciate the lesson the chickens learn in this delightful picture book and will read it again and again. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Amabssador
A greedy pig gets his comeuppance in this very funny and beautifully told picture book, but there are useful life lessons for us all. Pig has come into some gold and decides he needs a house. He strikes a deal with some builders - a cat, a dog and a hen - and they duly build him a very nice house. Overseeing their efforts from the comfort of his deckchair though, he decides it’s not big enough and gets the team to add an extension, more rooms, more floors. Things come to a head when they come for their payment, and Pig learns why it’s best to be totally honest in your business dealings! The story builds to a wonderful conclusion and everyone will enjoy seeing Pig get his just deserts. Katie Cotton’s rhyming text is a joy to read aloud and Tor Freeman’s illustrations are full of character and extra treats for readers (especially those fascinated by building sites!).
Everything is better with a little sparkle, even farm animals! Lift the sturdy flaps in this attractive board book to discover which animal is making the noise on the opposite page. You’ll find a horse, a chicken, a cow and a sheep, all of them together on the last page. Manes, hooves, ears are picked out in foil making the pictures even more appealing. A good book to enjoy with the very young and a fun way to develop hand eye co-ordination and teach colours and first words.
There’s a moral to this lively tale for everyone who lives on a small island. The setting is a farm run by animals. At first, all is good: the animals work hard and are friends, free ‘to live and work where they chose’. But trouble is brewing. The geese, who reside with the ducks on a lush little island, start to resent the other animals. Their grumbling gets worse until they decide that the best thing for them to do is to leave the rest of the farm and live on their own. Despite the misgivings of the ducks, the geese destroy the footbridge to the farm. 48% of readers may not be surprised to learn that things don’t work out as the geese expect, but all readers will be glad that by the end of the book the bridge has been rebuilt. Animal farms traditionally have lessons for readers – Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury for example – and this one is delivered with impact and charm. A book to get everyone talking, but to leave them smiling.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2019 | Cleverly blending story and information and beautifully illustrated, Hello, Horse captures the best qualities of a horse called Shannon and describes how a very special bond between and animal and a child can be made. Vivian French brief text provides the perfect introduction to the different features of a horse and to details about how a horse should be approached by a child. She explains how to touch and feed a horse and also how to ride one! Catherine Rayner’s illustrations capture the gloss of Shannon’s coat, the sinews of her body and, above all, her characterful expressions which bring her to life perfectly.
Cleverly blending story and information and beautifully illustrated, Hello, Horse captures the best qualities of a horse called Shannon and describes how a very special bond between and animal and a child can be made. Vivian French brief text provides the perfect introduction to the different features of a horse and to details about how a horse should be approached by a child. She explains how to touch and feed a horse and also how to ride one! Catherine Rayner’s illustrations capture the gloss of Shannon’s coat, the sinews of her body and, above all, her characterful expressions which bring her to life perfectly.
March 2017 Book of the Month Unless they are regular visitors to the countryside it can be hard for children to connect the milk in the two litre cartons on the supermarket shelves or in their fridge with a cow in the field; this book will address that. Over colourful, busy pages it takes children round a working farm, and in the process answers 100 questions, from who lives in the barn, to how do seeds grow, to how does flour become wheat. The answers are often hidden behind flaps making this a fun, interactive reading experience as well as an informative one. ~ Andrea Reece
The ideal first book to introduce life on the farm to toddlers, My First Farm is packed with colourful images and clear word-labels to encourage early learning. Help your toddler learn all about life on the farm, from farm animals to farm colours in My First Farm. With colourful, bright pictures of farm animals and plants alongside clear word-labels your little one will discover horses, cows, crops and even an orchard. My First Farm keeps early learning simple and fun for your little one. Read it together and help them turn the pages and learn all about farm animals.
Encourage your children to get outside together with this beautifully designed and illustrated nature-spotting book from Fine Feather Press. The range of 'Let's Look' titles will help children aged 4+ to learn about nature and to realise its importance to the world in which we live. In Let's Look on the Farm, find out more about the farm animals that farmers keep, the sounds they make as well as the food they grow including fruit and vegetables. Crammed with fascinating facts, each book contains stickers and a special pull-out scene to decorate. A Piece of Passion from Andrea Pinnington, co-founder of Fine Feather Press “Although it’s easy to believe there’s no place like home for keeping children safe and content, there’s a growing realisation that a lack of engagement with the outdoors can have a significant detrimental effect on children’s overall happiness. Large organisations, such as the National Trust, have identified Nature Deficit Disorder as a very real condition that is negatively impacting childhood. Our books tackle this head on. They are all about getting children to look at animals and plants in new and exciting ways, to learn their names and to find out what makes them special.”
Whether he is besting Brer Fox or sneaking into Mr. Man's garden, Brer Rabbit is always teaching a valuable lesson. These classic tales are full of wit, humor, and creativity, and Julius Lester brings an added contemporary sense to these forty-eight timeless stories.
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