3 out of 4 stars
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On an otherwise-ordinary day Farmer Beau notices six kittens playing around in his garage. Upon finding them he decides to get his wife, Bamma, and they take a break to watch them play. They put food out for them, but as time goes by they leave, one by one, until only one is left. Smitten, the two decide to convince her to stay and name her Kailey.
Kailey loves the farm, and one day she comes across a cute little bunny named Sammy. The two become fast friends, and Kailey even makes a spot for her to stay. However, when they overhear Farmer Beau and Bamma talking about taking in another animal - one that would be "unusual on the farm" - they start to get worried. What if they love Malissa, this new mystery animal, more than them? What if they get made fun of for having some weird animal around the farm?
The aptly-titled Farmer Beau's Farm by Kathleen Geiger is a cute children's book. Kathleen based the book on finding six kittens actually playing in their garage years ago! The book uses more text than many children's books but the vocabulary is simple enough not to be confusing. I really liked that the font is a dark blue, a bit thicker and bigger than most kindle books use, making it much easier to see at a distance for reading and showing off pictures. While I did find a spot here and there that seemed a bit off grammatically or was missing quotation marks for thought, reading it aloud is definitely easy enough.
The imagery throughout is colorful and reminiscent of classic cartoons like Looney Tunes. The backgrounds are a bit static and flat, but are definitely passable, and it's the characters that are worth focusing on anyway. The animals seem so alive that it's like they're still-frame images captured from a lively cartoon. The book's text is also separate from the images, so there's nothing to take away from how cute they are.
As far as the themes are concerned, Kailey and Sammy are like two loving siblings (without the sibling rivalry!). Their concerns about the new animal are reminiscent of adopting a new child or getting a new baby brother or sister, and once Malissa arrives the kitten and bunny handle it in a relatable, ultimately sweet way.
Overall Farmer Beau's Farm was a sweet read. I could certainly see reading it to kids, especially kids expecting a new sibling or who may not get along so well. Animal lovers will enjoy it as well, as would kids who live on a farm (the silliness of the mystery animal alone would be worth it!). I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars.
Farmer Beau's Farm
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