A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday T. Ernesto Bethancourt (The Dog Days of Arthur Cane) and Jeanne Betancourt (My Name is Brain Brian; Pony Pal series).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Dirk Zimmer (1943-2008), In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories.
- In 1950, the first Peanuts comic strip runs in nine newspapers. Read How to Draw Peanuts by Charles Schultz, and Peanuts: The Art of Charles Schultz.
- Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as first African-American Supreme Court justice on this day in 1967. Read A Picture Book of Thurgood Marshall by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla.
- Itâ€™s Name Your Car Day. Read The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Kathryn Brown.
- Itâ€™s Phileas Foggâ€™s Wager Day. Read Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.
Since the eighties the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi has been honored with World Farm Animals Day. If I were to pick a single book that celebrates living farm animals, it would have to be On the Farm, an inspired collaboration between poet David Elliott and illustrator Holly Meade.
David once actually worked on a farmâ€”although he claims that he had little aptitude and actually made the animals a bit nervous. He became a writer and poet, instead, and is known for his ability to hold audiencesâ€”of both adults and childrenâ€”spellbound as he explains poetry and poetic form.
In On the Farm he takes familiar creatures and helps us look at them in new ways. In very simple and approachable verse, David presents thirteen poems about creatures who can be found on a farmâ€”from cows and horses to snakes and rabbits. â€śThe Sheep/began his woolly life/as gentle as a/lamb. Too bad/he turned/into a/ram. BAM!â€ť Or â€śThe Bees/Tell their story,/sweet and old./It begins in clover;/it ends with gold.”
Each poem has been given a generous double-page spread, which allows illustrator Holly Meade to showcase the animals but also delineate their surroundings. On the copyright page, a double-page spread of the farm with familiar animals sets the scene. Then in woodblock and watercolor prints with bold outlines each animal struts, or runs, or simply stands to be recognized. Artist and writer work in complete harmony in this book. When these lines appear about the pig, â€śSome look at her and see a sow;/I see a beauty queen,â€ť the illustration showcases a truly lovely creature. Some pig, indeed! The exquisitely executed watercolors, the large trim size, and the heavy paper stock all make this book incredibly attractiveâ€”one of those titles you might pick up to read even if you had no interest in farm animals.
On the Farm can be used to introduce any study on farm animals or any poetry unit. The poems actually encourage young readers to see if they can craft some short pieces of their own. And this book works brilliantly as a read aloud for the very young from sixteen months on. Since it appeared in 2008, On the Farm has become one of the poetry volumes that teachers and parents most enjoy usingâ€”for providing information or pure pleasure.
Hereâ€™s a page from On the Farm:
Originally posted October 2, 2011. Updated for .