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Book Review: Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm

Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I give this book a 9 out of 10 This is the best book for children about farm animals that I have read and I have read quite a few.

One of the most foundational permaculture principles, to me, is observation. This book is a thoughtful, loving and realistic portrait of the animals on the authors' small family farm, and it is obviously based on real observations of real animals. In a few words and simple pictures the authors give an idea of the essence of the general characteristics of the type of animal and the quirks of the specific animal.

For example:

There are three roosters, two are nice and share food with the hens. One is aggressive and fights with everyone. The portrayal of the one broody hen is particularly sweet to me. Without being instructive, it manages to give you a sense of what the chickens are like.

It covers cats, chickens, horses, dogs, geese, goats and kids, sheep and lambs, cows, pigs and wild animals (predators nibblers and otherwise)

in a readable style interesting to children and adults. It is long enough to be a satisfying bedtime book for ages 4 and up, and for 3 and under, or for the short of attention span, it can be easily split up into "chapters" to stick a bookmark in.

For vegans and the very sentimental, there is one bit that might be objectionable- in the section about "neighbor animals" it mentions some "useless" dogs that caused trouble and aren't around anymore. I am not offended by this idea. I do edit childrens' books as I read if I see fit. I tend to avoid the word "hate" so when it says Max the cat hates snakes I say "Max doesn't like snakes." Personal taste.

This is not a new book, I had it as a girl. Until recently it was out of print and old copies were hard to come by and expensive but a reissue has dropped the price and it is quite available.

If you are looking for something to have on hand at your permie homestead for when kids drop by, this is a good one.

Good night. Drive safely. Here's a tiny ad for the road:
Abundance on Dry Land, documentary, streaming
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