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On the Farmby David Elliott and Holly Meade
Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times best-selling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator evoke life on a farm in a simple, lyrical text and boldly expressive images.
From the bull to the barn cat to the wild bunny, the farmyard bustles with life. The rooster crows, the rams clash, the bees buzz, and over there in the garden, a snake — silent and alone — winds and watches. David Elliott's graceful, simple verse and Holly Meade's exquisite woodcut and watercolor illustrations capture a world that is at once timeless yet disappearing from view — the world of the family farm.
"Like the vibrant rooster on this oversize book's jacket, Meade's (Hush! A Thai Lullaby) colored woodcut prints are so bold they seem to crow at the reader. Leaves look bigger than life, and each chicken scratch in the barnyard dust leaves a strong, black line. Elliott's (And Here's to You!) short, simple poems often seem overwhelmed by the pictures, which feature animals that stare intently at the reader, as if their morning activities were being interrupted by someone with a camera. Taking a roster of the farm residents, the poems include the occasional striking image (the pig has a tail 'as coy as a ringlet'), and more frequently comment on the animals' obvious characteristics (the cow 'makes milk/ standing/ grazing./ Abra-/ cada-/ bra!/ She's/ utterly/ amazing!'). As brief as they are, often just a sentence or two, the poems talk to both adults and preschoolers. A comment about the turtle's 'fossil head' will be of less interest to children than the idea that 'in [the turtle's] house,/ it's always night.' While some illustrations are stiff and anthropomorphic, overall this old-fashioned farm stands in for an idyllic existence, a time and place where the bees 'tell their story,/ sweet and old.' Ages 3-5." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The concept couldn't be simpler, but the balance between word and image is subtle. After an opening panorama showing an old-fashioned farmhouse with outbuildings and assorted farm-dwelling animals dotted about, each double-page spread zooms in on a particular beast, bird or bug, allotting them a portrait and a quirky poem apiece. Meade's big, bold woodcut prints are the attention-grabbers, but Elliott's... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) little verses pack a deceptive punch. 'The Bees' is summer in a quatrain: Tell their story, sweet and old. It begins in clover; it ends with gold. Elizabeth Ward can be reached at warde(at symbol)washpost.com." Reviewed by Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"Elliott and Meade have crafted a picture book well worth adding to any size library collection." School Library Journal
"Farmyard books are a dime a dozen, but this one is a worthwhile addition, for those poems that reach beyond the ordinary and for the good-natured illustrations that complement them." Kirkus Reviews
A New York Ttimes best-selling author and a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator evoke life on a farm in a simple, lyrical text and boldly expressive images.
From the bull to the barn cat to the wild bunny, the farmyard bustles with life. The rooster crows, the rams clash, the bees buzz, and over there in the garden, a snake — silent and alone — winds and watches. David Elliotts graceful, simple verse and Holly Meades exquisite woodcut and watercolor illustrations capture a world that is at once timeless yet disappearing from view — the world of the family farm.
About the Author
David Elliott is the author of several books for young readers, including the NEW YORK TIMES best-selling picture book AND HERE'S TO YOU! He lives in Warner, New Hampshire.
Holly Meade has illustrated many picture books, including the Caldecott Honor-winning HUSH! A THAI LULLABY and its follow-up, PEEK! A THAI HIDE-AND-SEEK, both by Minfong Ho. This is the first time she has used woodcuts for a picture book. She lives in Sedgwick, Maine.
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