CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 15 . . . . March 16, 2007
I have no relatives who live on a farm, but for longer than I expected, my urban-born-and raised daughter said that she wanted to be a farmer when she grew up. If she had, she could have used the “Farm Animals” series by Weigl to educate herself on basic husbandry of farm animals.
The eight titles in the “Farm Animals” series, all written by Heather C. Hudak, will help educate children about animals that give us their wool, milk and meat as well as pleasure. The books are illustrated with large, bright photographs to capture the attention of young readers. Each 24 page book has 12, two-page chapter spreads, filled with facts that will interest children, including the history of each animal's domestication, a picture of the animal with its body parts labeled, its food and the habitat it needs, as well as myths and legends about the animals. The role each animal or bird plays on the farm in helping humans live is discussed. The final chapter contains Frequently Asked Questions, a question and answer section and suggested reading. The last page has a glossary that explains bolded words found in the text, as well as an index.
The language is appropriate for young children - honest, but not too detailed:
Different breeds of each animal are featured on page 7, though some animals have more breeds than can be displayed. The pictures show children that animals can be of the same species, but that there is a wide variation, depending on their origin. An interesting fact is that there are no breeds of llamas, even though they can look quite different. They are simply grouped by their colour, hair, body shape and personality.
Many parents take their young children to petting zoos to have a close-up encounter with baby domesticated animals. Teachers recognize the benefits of communing with nature, and schedule field trips to farms where small animals have become accustomed to adoration and touching.
This series will be a useful addition to a school library collection. It will stand the test of time, even as technology changes the way farming is done.
And if my now-adult daughter recalls her childhood dream, it will help her get started.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.