4 out of 4 stars
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When the tenderhearted Farmer Beau and his sweet wife Bamma stumble across a litter of kittens in their garage, they can’t help but take care of the helpless little animals until they are strong enough to venture out on their own. One by one, the kittens grow up and leave the farm, until Farmer Beau and his wife decide to fix a home for the last kitten. Kailey Kitten, as she will soon be named, sticks around the farmyard, and she and the couple become close friends.
Before long, Kailey makes another animal friend of her own, an adorable bunny named Sammy. Sammy and Kailey become fast friends, and they tramp around the farmyard having exciting adventures. Then one day, they catch wind of an interesting rumor. Someone else is coming to live on Farmer Beau’s farm. Who could it be? And will this new animal fit in on Farmer’s Beau’s farm?
Even as an adult, I was instantly hooked by this delightful story. Adam Musk’s whimsical illustrations compliment Kathleen Geiger’s well-written prose, bringing the farm and its quirky inhabitants to life before our eyes. The vocabulary is challenging enough to keep the attention of intermediate and advanced readers. Repetition of words like “farmer, farm, farmed” will keep students from getting frustrated. The book may be a bit long for students with short attention spans, but it could easily be read in a few sittings. There aren’t actual chapter breaks, but the illustrations are spaced out to mark the beginning of each new plot twist.
Children (and adults) of all ages are sure to relate to the curious Kailey and fun-loving Sammy, who sometimes speak before they think, and don't realize that they have said something hurtful until it is too late. Without falling into the trap of preachiness, Kathleen Geiger gently guides readers toward a conversation about acceptance and remembering the impact of our words. If you are looking for a way to start a conversation with your child about acceptance, diversity, inclusion—or just plain making friends!—Farmer Beau’s Farm is a perfect place to start.
I did notice a few typos in the book. On one occasion, the sentence reads: “She hid and then jump out” when it should be “jumped” out. Still, these errors were minuscule, and it is clear that the book was edited professionally. Based on these factors, I have no qualms about giving this book a 4 out of 4 rating. Farmer Beau's Farm is a delightful story that is sure to reward readers of all ages, and students will return to its pages again and again.
Farmer Beau's Farm
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