I have admitted before that I always judge a book by it’s cover, and it’s even more true with children’s books. I mean really, the illustrations are at least half the package right? These books are practically begging you to judge by their covers, you woudn’t want to ignore an illistators best efforts now would you?
But sometimes those old sayings turn out to be true.
If you were like me a judged by the cover you would have left passed this book over and sighed when your kids dragged it home from the library the first time.
Then after having brought it home from the library multiple times and read it 5,789 times you would also have to admit to being completely and totally wrong.
The illustrations may not be exactly what I’m drawn to but there are bicycle riding cows, not to mention an egg laying one…
…the phrase “…an almighty commotion in the barnyard…” which is a good phrase if I’ve ever heard it.
And there are “crafty chickens” I personally have never met a crafty chicken but I like the idea of them anyway.
A super fun book and clearly one of Clara’s favorites!
Twelve years ago John and I were dating and I was in the hospital recovering from a surgery, doped up on painkillers. John came to visit me every day I was there and one night he rounded up a TV and VCR and brought in one of his favorite movies for us to watch – The Power of One. Sadly due to all those painkillers I have a vivid memory of John sitting by my bed holding my hand, a vague memory of a TV showing up and absolutely no recollection of the movie. Nothing. Nada. In fact it doesn’t matter how many times John has told me over the last twelve years that I have seen the movie, I still don’t remember it.
Two months ago I brought home a book a friend had lent us saying it was a good “guy read” and I should give it to John. I dutifully passed the message on to John telling him it was “something about power of one?” Which then spurred on the same discussion we have repeated over the last twelve years about how I have seen that movie, and I say I don’t remember any of it and he says he loves it… yada, yada, yada.
But now our conversation has changed because now I’ve read the book and he remembers the movie and I can say things like, “What do you mean the movie doesn’t have Hoppie in it?!” Which is far better than the I still don’t remember the movie conversation we had been having.
Would I recommend it? Yes. This is a good “guy book” in a way that isn’t just shooting people, running around and blowing stuff up. It should also be mention that while I am distinctly not a guy myself, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have recommended it to other not guys. Although my girlyness probably came out when the boxing made me cringe, I can’t help it, I’m not a guy.
Which begs the question of just what was I expecting from “an unconventional memoir” of “how two Manhattanites became gentlemen farmers.”
I think the answer to that is that I was expecting more farming and less about the balancing act of relationships and life in general. Then I was disappointed and didn’t feel like being all introspective.
Then I found out that one of the men worked for Martha Stewart, in the words of my friend Katie, “Hilarious.”
Would I recommend it? Yes. It was funny, and introspective and it’ll do you good to read about gay farmers.
No. It was at times laugh out loud funny but at the end of the day it is a book about gay men (one an ex-drag queen) who start a small farm. I think the nich of people who would enjoy such a book is too small to give it a full recomendation.
Heck, I’ve got no idea if anyone should read this, but I admit, I mostly liked it. If you want a peek at their lives you can check out their website here: http://beekman1802.com maybe it’ll help you decide!
Making an apple pie is easy, unless the market is closed…
Then it’s off around the world to gather wheat from Italy, a chicken from France (“French chickens lay elegant eggs-and you want only the finest ingredients for your pie.”), kurundu bark from Sri Lanka, a cow from England, (“You’ll know she’s an English cow from her good manners and charming accent.”) seawater, on your way to Jamaica for sugar cane and then to Vermont for the apples.
After that all you have to do is:
This is a book that I suspect would appeal to slightly older kids but since my testers max out at the age of three years and ten months I can’t say for certain. What I can say is that Ivy does currently enjoy it, though I suspect it may be the parachuting cow and chicken more than the world travel that gets her attention.
Would I recommend it? Yes. In a world where a surprising number of kids (and adults I had no idea about the cinnamon) are a bit clueless as to how the food makes it onto the shelf at the market I think it’s a great book.
My only issue with it is that I’m certain my chickens lay just as good of eggs as any French chicken!
“By the big red barn in the great green field, there was a pink pig who was learning to squeal…”
Sorry, I see the book and the words just start rolling off my tongue, I can’t help it!
Ivy loved it as a baby and I read it so many times I accidentally memorized it. Then when Clara started reading books we pulled it out with the rest of the board books and it took about two times through before I had all the words back again.
Someone tell me why I was never able to master my times tables but I can memorize kids books on accident!
Regardless* of my math ineptitude this book has my favorite sort of sing song rhythm to it, making it easy to memorize (if you are into that sort of thing) and fun to read out loud. As if that wasn’t enough to make one little book lovely the girls seem to really enjoy the super detailed illustrations (can you see the hose on the barn in the picture?).
Would I recommend it? Yes, both the kids and I agree on this one. Besides, I have it memorized and I don’t hate it, it’s got to be good.
*I was going to use irregardless in this sentence but thought I’d better look it up to see if it meant what I thought it meant. My dictionary had this to say about it:
…”The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however.” … “Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.”
So I did…
…but every time I’ve read though my draft I say irregardless in my head.
Would I recommend it? Yes! After a few false starts I’ve decided that whatever I say will not do this book justice, and it will ruin the fun of reading it. So, I’m not saying anything, you just need to get it, in fact even if you don’t have any kids as an excuse you should go find it. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
P.S. If you have also read it back me up in the comments!!!
The chronicles of this lady’s “adventures with a pack of hens, a peck of pigeons, cantankerous crows, fierce falcons, hip hop parrots, baby hummingbirds, and one murderously big living dinosaur” are full of facts and information, unfortunately they are also full of Sy Montgomery. Sy Montgomery is a bit too, for lack of a better term, woo woo for me. I’m glad that birds fill her heart with awe and wonder and make her spirit soar. But when I read things like “My whole soul feels like a yawning hole that only this bird can fill.” I throw up a bit in my mouth as I roll my eyes.
Would I recommend it? No Parts of it, particularly the parts about the cassowary, I found pretty interesting but I have very little tolerance for woo woo mixed in with fact. It made my head hurt from all the unintentional eye rolling and I wouldn’t want to subject anyone else to such pain.