FARM BABIES by Russell Freedman


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First comes a new-born calf, and then, more briefly, ten other "babies"--about which we learn some things that are different, and some things that are the same. But Freedman (The First Days of Life, Animal Fathers, Getting Born, etc.), practiced in presenting this subject matter to the young, makes no overt attempt to instruct--and that, along with the simple fluency of the text and the simple clarity of the pictures, reinforces the book's natural appeal. (The text almost never refers to the animals as "babies"--save to say "baby goats" as an alternative to "kids," or "baby pigs" as an alternative to "piglets.") Instead, the brief remarks accompanying each picture take as reference points the picture itself ("These piglets"are about a week old. They are beginning to leave their pen and explore the barnyard"); a child's instinctual repsonse or natural queries ("If you touch a small piglet, it feels like velvet. . . . When it is about ten days old, it begins to grow soft bristles"); or the animal's distinguishing traits ("Baby pigs make lively pets. . . . In fact, pigs are probably the smartest animals on the farm"). Virtually all the information, in sum, is of immediate interest and some consequence--for a listening five-year-old or a second- or third-grader. A routine undertaking, discerningly executed.
Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1982
ISBN: 0823404269
Page count: 38pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1982


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