A small orange cat finds a new home on an organic farm, where she explores the farm world, helps with pest control and spends her winter warm and dry at the home of one of the farmers, in this book based on a true story.
The star of this appealing introduction to organic farming is a homeless cat that wandered onto a northern California farm in 2005. She was adopted by the farmers and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) participants and was sheltered by the illustrator for several winters. Realistic watercolors provide a cat's-eye view of the farm with its big brown farmer boots, its sheltering leaves and its interesting animal life. A simple text describing what she sees accompanies the full-page illustrations. A separate narrative, in rhymed couplets, is set on insets with close-ups of the green-eyed cat, sometimes zoomed in on a nose or tongue. The backmatter is frankly educational, providing further explanation of the major points: healthy soil and compost, beneficial bugs, companion planting, crop rotation, animal helpers, buying locally, community connections and, incidentally, city farms. There are additional descriptions of plant parts, life cycles and some further reading and teaching suggestions, as well as the story of the real-life Molly.
Pair this with Deborah Hodge and Brian Harris' Up We Grow (2010) for two different visions of modern environmentally conscious farm life. (Informational picture book. 4-7)