CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 37. . . .May 24, 2013
Most of us live in cities now, but adults recognize the importance of teaching children about nature and where our food comes from. There are farms in most rural communities set up to welcome in families and groups and give them hands-on experiences with animals and agricultural plants.
A Day at the Farm is a lovely introduction to nature and farms for toddlers and tots. It follows three children and their parents from the time they leave their urban home and travel to the countryside, through their visit, to when they bid the farm adieu, laden with baskets and hands full of delicious, home-grown food.
Séverine Cordier’s two-page ‘chapters’ trace the stages of the visit. The first page introduces the topic, such as ‘Feeding the ducks’. Cynthia Lacroix illustrates using pen and ink outlines of an apple-cheeked child tossing grain into a duck pond where a mama duck and her ducklings paddle happily in a light blue pond, a water lily adding a bright pink touch to the scene. The next page expands upon and labels the animals, insects and plants that might be found in a pond, including tadpoles, fish and dragonflies – things we might take for granted, but which form part of the ecosystem. A playful, but clear font adds a childlike note.
There’s humour, too. A farm wouldn’t be a farm without showing pigs. Stepping in a pile of manure, the little girl holds her nose and says, “Yuck”.
This structure repeats through the book so that a child can learn about gardening, picking fruit, farm machinery, etc. A two-page spread of the family having a picnic shows that it’s also important to relax from the day’s busy activities.
Cordier and Lacroix, both from France, have also written Picture My Day and Picture My World, also beautiful, well-written educational books for new learners. A Day at the Farm will help young children learn about farms and learn to love reading. The sturdy, bright green cover with three adorable children is inviting. The near-square 8”x 9” size means this book will fill a child’s lap where the pages will be turned over and over for the interesting, useful and appealing content.
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.