Friday, June 8, 2012

Perfect Picture Book: Big Red Barn

Here's this week's choice for Perfect Picture Book Fridays —
Big Red Barn
Written by Margaret Wise Brown
Pictures by Felicia Bond
Harper Collins Publishers, 1956, this version 1989

Suitable for: Ages 2 to 6

Theme/Topic: Animals, Farm, Rhyme

Opening: By the big red barn
In the great green field,

There was a pink pig
Who was learning to squeal.

Brief Synopsis: From the cover — There were horses and sheep and goats and geese — and a jaunty old scarecrow leaning on his hoe. And they all lived together by the big red barn. In joyous and exuberant pictures, Felicia Bong lovingly evokes Margaret Wise Brown's simple, rhythmic text about the cycle of a day on a farm, where a family of animals peacefully plays and sleeps.

Link to resources: Margaret Wise Brown's website doesn't have a working link for items for children. There is a PDF of "Writing for 5 year olds." Here's a five-day theme unit on farms.

Why I chose this book:


Fun art on the hardcover hidden under the cover.
The artwork makes me smile. I love the pig and corn stalk found on the cover under the dust jacket.

Margaret Wise Brown lived an interesting life, according to her bio. Death was no different — "... Margaret died of an embolism after kicking up her leg can-can style to show her doctor how good she was feeling." Wow.

Check out more Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

27 comments:

  1. LOVE Margaret Wise Brown's books, but I'd never encountered this one. Thanks for the introduction!

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    1. Beth, This is a fun one. No children in this book either as they are away. :)

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  2. Tweeting and FBing this post. I think I might have a few moms and dads on my FB that enjoy these PPB posts.

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  3. This looks like a wonderful book. Know Enzo likes this one. The cover and illustrations look inviting. Today has been a farm day. Interesting how some of us follow a them some days.

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    1. Patricia, I'm just now making my rounds. To the farms and beyond ....

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  4. I love the softness of Bond's illustrations! I like the title font too. Nice post Stacey!

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    1. Julie, True. Bond's illustrations are nice.

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  5. I love books about farm animals. There can never be too many :) Thanks for this review.

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    1. Books, I agree. There can never be too many.

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  6. So soothing - has always been one of our favorites too!

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    1. Cathy, Soothing is a great way to describe it.

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  7. Mmm methinks Enzo likes this one. Wow the tidbit on her death was interesting, what a character!

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    1. Joanna, I was really surprised about her life story as well as the story of the young boy who received royalties from Goodnight Moon, etc.

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  8. WOW. That IS an interesting death. This looks like a pretty cute book. I like the illustrations.

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  9. We have the board book version. Both my kids loved it as babies. I often give it out as a baby shower gift.

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    1. Darshana, I love board book versions, so durable.

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  10. Goodnight Moon was one of the first picture books I read after my first daughter was born, so I'm always interested to hear of other books she wrote. (That story you told about the can-can kick is certainly an interesting one. Wow!)

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    1. Kerry, Yep. That's a wow for sure. Goodnight Moon was one of my son's first books too.

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  11. Hi Stacy:
    I love Margaret Wise-Brown's books.
    And thank you for included the links.
    The PDF file on writing for five-year-olds will be invaluable.
    Tracy

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    1. Tracy, I had hoped her website had included more resources. I really love her books.

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  12. My children can probably recite GOODNIGHT MOON to this day (and they're 34 and 32!), but I didn't know about some of these others. Margaret Wise Brown certainly had a gift for connecting with children and the things that fascinate them. And I agree with other commenters about the illustrations. A good illustrator is more important in children's books than almost anywhere.

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  13. Wow, what a team: Margaret Wise Brown and Felicia Bond. This book looks like it's perfect for young children. Thanks Stacy!

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  14. Margaret Wise Brown was an excellent writer. And Felicia Bond's illustrations are so lovely. So gentle. Amazing. And you know I'm all for farms. *wink* Interesting story about Brown. I read somewhere that she did NOT like children. I hope that isn't so. (((Hugs)))

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  15. I can't believe I have never heard of this one before! Thanks, as always, for the heads up, Stacy.

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