A superficial, documentary-like look at a real problem: the small farm in transition. With rural population decreasing, Mike and Sarah's school closes, forcing them to travel farther each day; worse, corn and milk prices are low, so Dad takes a factory job while the kids, Mom, and Grandpa do his chores all winter. Then Dad is laid off; but the family fortunes look more promising with the introduction of some new cash crops: pumpkins, flowers, and perhaps Christmas trees. Locker's formal oil paintings have been much praised. This series is as full of nostalgia and fine cloud effects as ever, but the carefully composed full-page illustrations are static, the figures wooden, and the scenes so distanced from reality that teddy bears float on the surface of a down comforter, autumn leaves fail to fall, and cows graze without visible effect on their pasture. And although the text is an adequate summary of what may happen to small farms, it fails to suggest either a reason for the farmers' troubles or a real solution for the farming community.