The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly
theme-based booklist available as an online-only Bulletin
feature. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin,
we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an
extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even
dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We
ask only that you cite the source. See the archive
Chicken Chasing and Barnyard Brouhahas: A Farm
--selected by Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
It's summertime here in central illinois,
and that means our farmer's market is in full swing. Check out these
books about the ups and downs of farm life while indulging in the best
of your local produce.
Cooper, Elisha. Farm; written and illus. by
Elisha Cooper. Orchard Books, 2010. 5-9 yrs Quiet
rhyming text and
watercolor illustrations recount the day-to-day experiences –including
the sights, sounds, and smells – on a farm throughout the seasons.
Crum, Shutta. Thunder-Boomer!;
illus. by Carol Thompson. Clarion, 2009. 5-8 yrs
A farm family gets an unexpected visitor during a summer storm. A
playful text full of amusing sound effects is accompanied by vibrant
mixed-media illustrations, making this an excellent storytime choice.
Elliot, David. On the Farm;
illus. by Holly Meade. Candlewick, 2008. 5-8 yrs
Farm animals serve as the subject matter in thirteen brief but
ultimately entertaining poems that range from playful to introspective
in tone. Woodcut illustrations offer a unique addition to this homage
to farm life. (BCCB 3/08)
Harrington, Janice N. The
Chicken-chasing Queen of Lamar County; illus. by Shelley Jackson. FSG,
2007. 4-8 yrs
Despite her best efforts, our young narrator just can’t seem to catch
Miss Hen, the most elusive and wily of her grandmother’s chickens. When
she finally does corner the feathered squawker, the young girl uncovers
a few surprises that make her change her chicken-chasing ways. (BCCB
Himmelman, John. Chickens to the
Rescue; written and illus. by John Himmelman. Holt, 2006. 4-8 yrs
Life on the farm can be tough, but fortunately Farmer Greenstalk has a
bevy of helpful hens ready to save the day when things go awry.
Feathers fly as the chickens engage in increasingly off-the-wall
rescues, and young listeners will enthusiastically repeat the book’s
chorus--“Chickens to the rescue!”--as they go from one good deed to the
next. (BCCB 11/06)
Marrin, Albert. Years of Dust:
The Story of the Dust Bowl. Dutton, 2009. Gr. 5-8
In this clear, comprehensive overview, author Marrin examines both the
ecological circumstances and the political factors that caused the
great Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Timelines, charts, sidebars, and
historical illustrations provide a complete picture of this historical
disaster. (BCCB 10/09)
Mathews, Ellie. The Linden Tree.
Milkweed Editions, 2007. Gr. 4-6
When Katy Sue’s mother passes away, her loving but overbearing aunt
moves in to help out on the family’s small Iowa farm. A gentle tale
about familial love and sacrifice, this will please fans of L.M.
Montgomery and Jennifer Holm’s Penny
From Heaven. (BCCB 9/07)
Meng, CeCe. Tough Chicks; illus.
by Melissa Suber. Clarion, 2008. 5-8 yrs
Chickens Penny, Polly, and Molly refuse to conform to the barnyard
standards of typical chick behavior and instead spend their days roping
roosters, racing bugs, wrestling worms, and generally causing mayhem.
When the farm’s only tractor breaks down, however, their
not-so-traditional skills come in handy. (BCCB 2/09)
Murdock, Catherine Gilbert.
Dairy Queen: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Gr. 7-10
D.J. Shwenk is no stranger to hard work and after a lifetime of living
in her brothers’ shadows and a summer working her parent’s farm, she
decides to follow in the family’s football tradition and tries out for
her school’s (all male) varsity team. (BCCB 9/06)
Palatini, Margie. Moo Who?;
illus. by Keith Graves. Katherine Tegen Books, 2004. 3-7 yrs
Hilda Mae heifer has lost her moo after taking a cowpie to the head.
The other animals try to persuade her of her bovine nature, but Hilda
isn’t convinced of what sound she should be making. Lively, full-spread
illustrations and an engaging text that invites listeners to provide
their own sound effects make this a storytime favorite. (BCCB 7/04)
Selfors, Suzanne. Fortune’s
Magic Farm; illus. by Catia Chien. Little, Brown, 2009. Gr. 4-6
After running away from her dreary home in Runny Cove, ten-year-old
orphan Isabelle learns that she is the last of a long line of tenders –
people who care what little magic remains on earth. (BCCB 5/09)
Van Cleve, Kathleen. Drizzle.
Dial, 2010. Gr. 4-7
Despite growing up on an enchanted farm, eleven-year-old Polly Peabody
is a surprisingly average girl who considers herself rather useless.
When the plants start to wither mysteriously and her family begins to
fall apart, however, she discovers she is more extraordinary – and more
essential to the farm’s success - than she previously thought. (BCCB