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*A Little Golden Book Collection: Farm Tales* by Golden Books
Also written and/or illustrated by Garth Williams:

Baby's First Book (Golden Baby)

Baby Farm Animals (Golden Baby)

Home for a Bunny (Golden Baby)
A Little Golden Book Collection: Farm Tales
by Golden Books
Ages 4-6 224 pages Golden Books January 2007 Hardcover    

Little Golden Books have been around since 1942! Farm Tales is a beautiful collection of nine classic Little Golden Books that include the early works of Jack Kent, Richard Scarry and Garth Williams. The golden-edged pages shine, the gold spine is sturdy, and the golden illustrated end papers showcase many of the popular characters from Little Golden Books. These pages are fun to look at because several characters are drawn interacting with books in their own way. Now is a good time for children to be introduced to "The Shy Little Kitten," "The Boy with a Drum," "The Animals of Farmer Jones," "Baby Farm Animals," "The Jolly Barnyard," "The Fuzzy Duckling," "Mrs. Mooley" (my favorite), "A Name for Kitty," and "A Day on the Farm."

In each story, the reprinted illustrations are bright and colorful, and the font size and word choices are perfect for easy reading. The stories average twenty-two pages in length with one to five lines of text per page. Very simple storylines and concepts are introduced through the many farm animals in this book. "The Shy Little Kitten" goes for a walk and gets lost, but with the help of a black puppy, returns to the farm in time for a picnic. "The Boy with a Drum" also goes on a journey - a marching journey. With his drum in tow, he attracts the attention of various farm animals as he makes his way to the top of a hill.

The mystery of missing Farmer Jones is resolved in the "Animals of Farmer Jones," and none too soon as all the farm animals are very hungry and very appreciative of his homecoming! In "Baby Farm Animals," children not only learn the names of some baby animals; they also learn how these animals spend their days. Gosling eats by sticking his head underwater, and puppy likes to chew on shoes. In "Jolly Barnyard," everyone on the farm is celebrating Farmer Brownís birthday. Farmer Brown himself spends his birthday in a unique but kind way.

"The Fuzzy Duckling" is a story about reuniting, and "Mrs. Mooley" is about a determined cow. Inspired by an illustration in a book left behind at the farm, Mrs. Mooley sets out to jump over the moon - and she does! There is one little kitten in "A Name for Kitty" that doesnít have a name; there just doesnít seem to be a name out there suitable for the new kitten. The little boy rejects Grandpaís suggestion of Joseph, and Dadís suggestion of Shoe-Leather. Itís not until the little boy has time to sit and think by himself that he thinks of the best name for his new pet. The last story is "Day on the Farm." Children will read how a family of four spends their day on and off a farm. From sunup until sundown, the farm is a bustling place for all family members, even the pet cat and dog.

The illustrations definitely have a nostalgic feel to them, especially those of Farmer Brown and his family, but the illustrations will still appeal to children. "Mrs. Mooley"ís characters are cartoonish in design, "Baby Farm Animals" has endearing realistic drawings of young animals, and in "The Shy Little Kitten," all the animals look childlike themselves. Actually, all the animals in this book look trusting and innocent- except perhaps for the tiger that makes a brief appearance in one story.

Whether you own the older editions of the individual Little Golden Books or not, this collection should not be missed.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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