Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: Sally Goes to the Farm (dog, children's book)

Sally Goes to the Farm, by Stephen Huneck (Abrams, 2002, 40 pages, $18.95, ages 4-8)

Like the other books in the Sally series, Sally Goes to the Farm is brilliantly written and illustrated with infinite care. I am so glad I finally discovered Stephen Huneck as a children’s author and illustrator, besides being a creative woodcarver and artist.

Sally, America’s favorite black Lab, lives on a mountain called – what else? Dog Mountain in Vermont so she is terribly excited to visit a farm!

How Huneck Illustrated The Sally Books

Huneck first drew the illustrations in crayon; then, for each color, he carved a different block of wood. After each block was inked with its one color, the blocks were stamped onto paper and allowed to dry. Painstakingly finished and filled with love, these illustrations are a national treasure.

No humans appear in the Sally books, not even children – only parts of humans, like hands for petting dogs and arms for driving them around. Because, after all, these are dog books (for all children who understand dogs).

Lessons in Confidence and Exploration

Who does Sally meet and what new things does she experience? Each book is an adventure with Sally teaching her young readers how much fun it is to meet new friends and try new things in new places like at the farm. If Sally the Lab can do it, so can your child!

Charming and whimsical with a twist or two to keep the giggles coming, even from the adults, The Sally Books are books to keep. They are intensely child-centric and personal, told from a dog’s point of view so children naturally understand and written on two levels so parents enjoy them, too.

Meanwhile, Down on the Farm

Your child will see the farm and smell it too as he learns that Sally loves to ‘horse around’ with a horse, eats ‘like a pig’ (with a pig) and meets a scarecrow. “He seems nice. But he does not say a word.. . . run, or we will get a goosing.” And what appears but a goose!

Children will also learn how dogs meet – nose to butt!

Sally Goes to the Farm is simply delightful for kids and their astute parents, with lively descriptions and illustrations for one’s imagination to build on.

And who hasn’t met a black lab like Sally? Or lives with one?

Next: Sally Goes to the Vet

The Sally Books:
Sally Goes to the Beach, Sally Goes to the Mountains, Sally Goes to the Farm, Sally Goes to the Vet , Sally’s Snow Adventure, Sally Gets a Job and Sally Goes to Heaven
Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure
Sally at the Farm, Sally in the Sand

My Dog’s Brain, The Dog Chapel, and Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven

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