How the Farm Wakes Up
by Sherry L. Hoffman

"Hello, Farm! Hello, Sun!
Hello to the day that has just begun."

The farm wakes up slowly, animal by animal. Piglets wake up in their beds of hay; lambs are a bit harder to rouse. Ducklings swimming in a row and horses in the meadow are next, then the rabbits playing among the flowers. Goslings are splashing, and chicks are “pecking for a little snack.” As the animals stir in the rising sun, they began to make noise, enough to awaken the farmer’s pup. The oinking, tweeting, mooing, honking, quacking, and peeping are now causing enough of a din to alert the farmer and his family inside their house. A mom, dad, baby and two older children are now stirring and going outside where the sun is fully over the horizon. Everyone is starting to get ready for the day, “even the tiny farm mouse.”

This paean to the process of awakening on an idyllic rural homestead is the product of award-winning author Hoffman who has composed this work in short, rhyming couplets. She accompanies her nicely chosen words with full-page illustrations by graphic artist Jacqueline L. Challiss Hill who specializes in children’s novels. The simple, colorful pictures neatly provide the framework for Hoffman’s poetic offering. The family depicted is multiracial, which adds yet another level of “awakening” to the basic story. The book would be an excellent read for young children, with room for questions about the habitats of the animals and their different shapes and colors. Details such as a water trough, a bale of hay, and a bucket could stimulate discussion about farm life for city children unacquainted with that mode of living. Since Hoffman is a reading specialist, it seems likely that she envisions the book both as an easy read-to exercise for older children to their younger siblings as well as a learn-to-read exercise for preschoolers.

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