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A Family for Old Mill Farm

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A raccoon real estate agent is showing his animal clients—families of finches and foxes, deer and ducks—the woods, fields, and pond of Old Mill Farm. At the same time, a human realtor is trying to find a suitable house for a human family. Cabin on a mountaintop? Vine-smothered cottage? Mobile home on the prairie? None of those will do, and finally the tired realtor suggests one last possibility—a tumbledown property called . . . Old Mill Farm. Lively verse and funny, endearing art transport the reader to an ...

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Overview

A raccoon real estate agent is showing his animal clients—families of finches and foxes, deer and ducks—the woods, fields, and pond of Old Mill Farm. At the same time, a human realtor is trying to find a suitable house for a human family. Cabin on a mountaintop? Vine-smothered cottage? Mobile home on the prairie? None of those will do, and finally the tired realtor suggests one last possibility—a tumbledown property called . . . Old Mill Farm. Lively verse and funny, endearing art transport the reader to an intriguing variety of locations and make this quest both entertaining and satisfying.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cleverly celebrate[s] the importance of turning an unfamiliar house into a beloved home." School Library Journal

"Two enthusiastic realtors offer different spins on the same...property as their clients search for the perfect home." Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
A human family is looking for a new home during the same time that some animal families are also searching for a home. An as enthusiastic realtor takes the husband, pregnant wife, and child from house to house, a raccoon agent is guiding finch, duck, fox, and deer families to an old farmhouse in a meadow, persuading them that it is the perfect place to raise their babies. At each house, the human realtor poetically extols the virtues on one side of the double page, while the human family declines, asking for "another house please." From Breezy Lake Lodge, to Dry River Farm, to Rocky Point Lighthouse and on and on they go, but nothing seems right. Meanwhile, on alternating double pages, each animal family has found Old Mill Farm just right for them, and finally, so has our human family as well as they proclaim it "Perfect!" Daly provides visual magic summed up in the jacket scene of animal and human contentment. The charming anthropomorphic raccoon helps produce the enchantment for the regular animals around him. Watercolors and digital media create double pages filled with details of the families and the other unsuitable houses, with the active, eccentric, older agent adding extra fun.
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3
An exuberant realtor drags a young couple and their son to a series of possible new homes with catchy, descriptive names. Still, the waves near Breezy Lake Lodge are too splashy, the landscape at Dry River Ranch is too sandy, and the vines around Briarwood Cabin are too thorny. At all of the unsuitable residences the pair, who are expecting another child, implore, "May we see another house, please?" Meanwhile, a raccoon dressed in a long overcoat and bowtie shows off the appealing qualities of a run-down but idyllic farm to the local animals. He invites families of finches, ducks, cats, foxes, and deer to "Raise your babies here." They all agree that the farm is "Perfect." Finally, the real-estate agent takes her clients to see it and they declare, "No other house will do." On the last page, the family-they are now four-stand proudly in front of their refurbished home. The rhyming verse is enhanced by delicately shaded, atmospheric watercolors that aptly contrast the unfriendly settings of the rejected homes with the shady green tranquility of Old Mill Farm. This story does not address the concerns children face when they have to move. However, it does cleverly celebrate the importance of turning an unfamiliar house into a beloved home.
—Linda L. WalkinsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Two enthusiastic realtors offer different spins on the same dilapidated, but lovely rural property as their clients search for the perfect home. While a fast-talking human realtor in red coat and high heels extols the virtues of Breezy Lake Lodge, Dry River Ranch, Rocky Point Lighthouse, Mountain Peek Perch, Briarwood Cabin and Prairie Place Park to a human family, a raccoon realtor in trench coat and bowtie urges families of finches, ducks, cats, rabbits, foxes and deer to settle down on Old Mill Farm. The human realtor strikes out with every inappropriate property she shows, but raccoon's clients find cozy Old Mill Farm the "perfect" venue to raise their babies. And when the human realtor finally takes her prospective buyers to see homey Old Mill Farm, they, too, pronounce it "perfect." This lighthearted real-estate review rendered in verse text and amusing watercolor and digital-media illustrations eventually unites human and animal buyers in the pastoral perfection of Old Mill Farm. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618428465
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/21/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Niki Daly is the award-winning author and illustrator of many books for children. He lives in Kleinmond, a small seaside town in Western Cape, South Africa, and often finds inspiration for his stories in African peoples and cultures.

Shutta Crum, formerly a librarian, is still an author and storyteller. She was born in Paintsville, Kentucky, and now lives with her husband in Michigan. Her website is www.shutta.com.

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