The Day Dad Blew Up the Cowshed by Jennifer Somervell Illus. Margery Fern.
This picture book plus the one below have been circulating particularly in country areas for a while now, but I have just heard about them, and it is about time city folk got to know them.
Blowing the old cowshed up is not an easy task. It requires skill and some preparation. Gelignite held down by bags of water then BOOM! Who didn’t know though? And where did it all go after the big bang.
It’s the sort of story that goes into country folk lore and Jennifer Somervell has told it well with rhyming verse that demands to be read aloud. City folk don’t traipse up a hillside or cluster round the cowshed. Perhaps we should it looks fun.
It is a read-a-loud story for juniors and senior primary for that matter.
Sister Margery Fern has illustrated the text with unique Water colour illustrations. Down on the farm style which captures life on the farm in New Zealand. I liked the cows and the dogs and the women chatting about it later. They compliment the text well.
In the back is a glossary and pictures of the real farm and milking merry-go-round.
The New Old Truck by Jennifer Somervell. Illus. Margery Fern. Tales from the Farm Publications, 2014.
The old 1921 Republic truck has had it’s day as a working truck but the children are fond of it and don’t want it to go. The truck didn’t want to go either but the truth has to be faced. Down they go to see new trucks but farm folk don’t like anything flashy so they stick with the blue truck.
Then salvation. Son John comes home and decides to restore the truck back to its old glory. Everyone’s happy even the old truck.
Once again uniquely illustrated in water colour paintings and I loved the girls lounging on the hay bales in the back of the old truck and of course the almost human old truck with those doleful eyes.
Both books would be a choice asset to any school library.