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From the Forest to the Farm

Debbie Glade reviews two educational paperback books from Dawn Publications that would make a great addition to any child’s library.

Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek ($8.95, Dawn Publications, ages 3-8) teaches readers about the most common animals one would find in the forest. Written by Marianne Berkes in rhyme, each page features a different animal, revealing where that species typically lives in the forest and what the offspring are called. For example, did you know that a baby possum is called a joey? The story is wonderfully complemented by unique paper cut collage illustrations by artist, Jill Dubin. What I really like about this book is all the educational information included in the back. Here you’ll find more details about the animals you can clearly see in the forest and those that are often hidden. There are tips from the author about how to be a wildlife detective, suggested indoor activities to help young readers learn more about the forest and tips from the illustrator about how to do a collage. There are even lyrics to a song, written by Berkes, set to the tune of “Over in the Meadow.”

Since I grow organic vegetables of my own, I can totally appreciate Molly’s Organic Farm ($8.95, Dawn Publications, ages 4-10), written by Carol L. Malnor. Through the frolics of a homeless cat named, Molly, readers discover what life is like on an organic vegetable farm. I love that the book is based upon a true story of a small orange cat, that one day appeared on a small organic farm in Northern California. The story cleverly weaves in educational details about organic farming, while keeping the child’s interest in the story with the help of Molly’s assorted activities. Readers want to know if Molly will find a home come winter. The lovely watercolor illustrations by Trina L. Hunner bring the cute cat and the story to life. In the back of the book is more in-depth educational information about the farm, info about the seasons of the farm and the true story of Molly the cat, as told by the illustrator who once lived near the farm that Molly calls home.

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