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FARM FLU by Teresa Bateman


by Teresa Bateman & illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8075-2274-0
Publisher: Whitman

The case of galloping flu seems to be striking the farmyard in this sweet-hearted tribute to that refrain that gets a tentative airing right before the school bus is to arrive: "I'm not feeling good." His mom is away from the farm for a few days when a boy hears the cow sneeze. "I've never helped a sickly cow. / (I just know how to milk and plow.) / But I knew what my mom would do / if it were me who had the flu." It's right into bed with Guernsey; there to sip some tea and have her pillow plumped. Then the chickens start to sneeze and they get the same loving care. Then the pigs, who likewise get tender treatment: television and popcorn, baths and soup, all for the sick. Then the donkey and the turkeys and the sheep all start sneezing. Only after a long night does it dawn on the boy that he has been suckered: "Too sick to be outside, I see. / Then you're too sick to watch TV! / No toys, no games, just stay in bed. / No popcorn—you'll have mush instead." The place clears like someone yelled "Fire!" Westcott's comical, colorful illustrations work just right with this charming piece of tomfoolery, which ought to strike a few chords with young readers; that or it will give them a few ideas. (Picture book. 3-7)