Here’s my definition of terrific value in a children’s book: Garth Williams’s classic Baby Farm Animals (Golden Books, 24 pp., $2.99, ages 3 and under). Williams has won deserved worldwide acclaim for his illustrations for Charlotte’s Web and the most popular edition of Little House on the Prairie. And in this book he uses full-page pictures to introduce very young children to 14 animals found on farms: lambs, kittens, calves, foals, chicks, ducklings, piglets, cygnets, goslings, puppies, guinea pigs and more.
Williams is justly admired for the warm and lush detail of his drawings: In this book, the animals have some of the most expressive eyes you’ll find in a picture book. But Baby Farm Animals shows that he can also write with a sly wit. Williams writes in one spread: “Baby Donkey loves to eat juicy carrots. He is sitting down because he is tired. Somebody is trying to make him stand and follow those carrots tied on the end of a stick. ” The donkey isn’t budging: ” I know that trick,” he says.
[A few technical difficulties this week have kept me from showing the cover of this book or adding all the links I normally would. I’ll add these as soon as I have a computer again. Thanks for your patience. Jan]
(c) 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.