WISE ACRES by George Shannon


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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Wise Acres is a seemingly idyllic farm with a traditional red barn and some untraditional animals who like to jog, sing, and play musical instruments in this longer work divided into three short chapters. The three stories involve the same set of animals trying to solve three problems: retrieving a missing tambourine from a pond, providing letters for the ram who waits by the mailbox, and getting the turkey to stop worrying about his wrinkles. The middle story is the funniest, but the punch line of “no news is good news” isn’t one that will readily resonate with children, just like the play on words in the title. The other two stories try hard to be funny, succeeding with some humorous dialogue and situational comedy, but they both fall rather flat in their conclusions. It’s also a little hard to tell the characters apart at first as they are just called by first names without any identification by species, though there is a labeled “family portrait” on the front endpaper. Zemke adds zest to the effort with her loose watercolor-and-ink illustrations, capturing the animal antics. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-59354-041-8
Page count: 40pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2004


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