A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale
AUTHOR: Karen Rostoker Gruber
ILLUSTRATOR: Kristina Swarner
PUBLISHER: Albert Whitman, 2020
THERE WAS NO ROOM TO SIT, NO ROOM TO PACE, NO ROOM TO REST, NO EXTRA SPACE!
Farmer Earl has had enough -- his home is too crowded. So, he visits the wise woman in town for help. She tells him to bring all his ducks in the house. And then his horses. And all his goats too!
How will there be more room with all these animals?
Usually, with my reviews, I outline three quick reasons to read. But there are so many for this book. First of all, it is a great Mentor text in writing picture books. Karen makes wonderful use of poetic devices -- rhythm, alliteration, consonance, assonance. She employs three beats. She featured a main character who has a child-like problem (many current or former children will experience or remember their bedroom or house being too small and not appreciating it). The character undergoes a noticeable change from beginning to end, as do those around him. It also shows a respect for and and inclination toward listening to his elders (wise woman), despite being able to clearly see the result game, just knowing that this mentor knows best and wants best for him. That's a subtle little lesson for little ones about parenting.
But the part I love the most, apart from it being a Jewish folktale, is the truth that it speaks. Everything looks differently if we change the perspective. Knowing that is a great tool in coping in this life and one that's important to give to children.
As to the art -- it's fun and folksy, just like it should be.
So well done! I honestly think that this book has takeaway value for everyone, young and old, alike!
And for more fun, here's the backstory to A CROWDED FARMHOUSE FOLKTALE:
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