________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 14. . . .March 6, 2009

cover

When I Visit the Farm.

Crystal Beshara.
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2009.
32 pp., hardcover, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-897550-09-0.

Subject Heading:
Farms-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-Kindergarten / Ages 3-5.

Review by Valerie Nielsen.

** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.

   

excerpt:

When I visit the farm
I feel as free as a dandelion seed.
I have all the space in the world
to spread my wings

 

When I Visit the Farm is the first time award-winning Ottawa artist Crystal Beshara has written the text accompanying her illustrations. As well as gaining a good deal of recognition for her artistic works in Ottawa, Beshara's work appeared in the illustrations of filmmaker David Diorio's story of Rimsky-Korsakov's creation of his classic piece, The Flight of the Bumble Bee.

internal art     Each of the 14 double-paged spreads in When I Visit the Farm depicts an activity engaged in by a young visitor to the farm. The story is told in first person from a four-year-old's point of view. Some details which may perplex the reader occur in the illustrations. Why, for instance, does the young narrator appear in a different dress on every page? In fact, wearing a dress to visit a farm seems a little inappropriate to begin with. Other oddities which appear to older readers include the little girl's backward stance in front of geese (who are notoriously unfriendly), her imaginary sighting of a chipmunk high up in a tree (would she not be more likely to see it from ground level?) and the old hen that appears to have a rooster's head transposed onto her body when we first meet her.

     These anomalies aside, When I Visit the Farm certainly does live up to the publisher's claim that it is a beautiful picture book with warm, sunny illustrations. The artist's bright, beautifully detailed paintings are definitely appealing to the eye.

      When I Visit the Farm is a book for very young listeners with limited attention spans, whose willingness to sit and listen to a picture book is determined by their enjoyment of its illustrations. Essentially Beshara's work is a gallery of lovely paintings with a text limited in length (155 words) and story interest. It would be a possible purchase for day care or preschool centers, but it lacks a sufficiently wide age-range appeal for school libraries.

Recommended with reservations.

Valerie Nielsen, a retired teacher-librarian, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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