Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Field Trip! A Day at the Farm by Severine Cordier


Three kids don their mud boots and jackets and climb into the family car for a trip to the country. It seems a long, are-we-there-yet ride, but it is worth the wait, as they arrive to find the farm lady holding a brown rabbit for them to pet while a curious cat and brown hen greet the newcomers.

Near the farmhouse they stop by to feed the ducks and the animals that share the pond--a dragonfly, toad, tadpole, and fish--and see the hen and drake with their ducklings. A quick visit to the henhouse gives the kids a chance to scatter some grain for the hens, rooster, and chicks and gather a basket of eggs.

Next there's a stop at the garden with its many veggies and herbs to gather and garden tools to try out before they have a hands-on visit at the rabbit hutch, the orchard where they pick apples, and a stop for an al fresco lunch and a chance to build an impromptu playground with some handy hay bales. An after-lunch stop at the bee hives yields a sweet treat of honey, but the pigsty smells yucky, and the grumpy billy goat in the meadow gives them pause. Soon, though, a pony ride and a friendly donkey revive their smiles, and a stop at the sheep shed comes just before the most exciting part of the visit--a chance to take turns steering the tractor.  Soon it's time to head for home--but not before they load up with jars of honey and some fruits and veggies to take back as mementos.

Severine Cordier's latest in this cozy series, A Day at the Farm (Owlkids, 2013) offers the familiar trio of siblings on a family field trip to the farm. Artist Cynthia LaCroix's charming children's adventures are accompanied by full-bleed picture pages showing tools, produce, and products related to the farm, from water lilies in the pond to sunflowers and oats in the fields. Objects are labelled for the beginning reader, and plenty of visual cues make the brief text easy for emergent readers to sound out.

An easy-going introduction for families or preschoolers to those favorite field trips to the farm, this book joins Cordier's earlier day books, Picture My Day and Picture My World, (see full reviews here and here) all of which can serve as simple stories of daily doings or as beginning picture dictionaries for vocabulary building. Now, if only illustrator LaCroix had chosen to picture that cute farm cat and tres charmante chicken shadowing the kids through the pages as their home kitty did so well in the first book!

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