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Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm
     

Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm

4.9 12
by Jerdine Nolen, Mark Buehner (Illustrator)
 

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Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed. He was a farmer, but he didn't farm like my daddy did. He farmed a genuine, U.S. Government Inspected Balloon Farm.

So begins this enchanting original tall tale. Set in the rural south and populated with a truly unforgettable cast of characters—including, if you look very carefully, a rabbit, a Tyrannosaurus rex,

Overview

Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed. He was a farmer, but he didn't farm like my daddy did. He farmed a genuine, U.S. Government Inspected Balloon Farm.

So begins this enchanting original tall tale. Set in the rural south and populated with a truly unforgettable cast of characters—including, if you look very carefully, a rabbit, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a cat, a chicken, a cow, and a pig hidden in each remarkable illustration—this is a book that is filled with wonderful impossibilities and magical imagination. Told in the great tradition of summer nights and front porch yarns, Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm will lift your spirit right off the ground, just as it does Harvey Potter.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Everything's coming up balloons in this original tale about Harvey Potter, a ``very strange fellow,'' and his unusual crop. As recounted by a local observer, Potter seems to have a latex thumb and has raised balloons in all sizes and shapes, in colors like ``Pleasin' Purple,'' ``Orange-Ray Sun'' and ``Jelly-Bean Black.'' Such spectacle naturally piques the curiosity of townsfolk and prompts the female narrator to perform a secret investigation of Harvey's planting methods. Perched in a tree one night, she witnesses a sort of dancing ritual that Harvey performs with a magic ``conjure stick,'' and her life is changed forever. Debut author Nolen's full-bodied text is peppered with shades of a Southern dialect and has the cozy feel of a back porch storytelling session. Her fiercely independent characters add even more pizzazz. Buehner's ( The Adventures of Taxi Dog ) rich acrylics are chock-full of zippy colors. His expert use of light and shadow makes a day in the fields look downright glorious. And the sea of bright balloons growing straight and proud is something to behold. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-This is the best sort of fantasy-imaginative, inventive, and believable. Harvey Potter is a wonder-he's the owner of a genuine U.S. Government Inspected Balloon farm. And Nolen's tale about this man, narrated by the African-American girl who learns balloon-farming magic from him, is equally wondrous. The author's understated, down-home text combines with Buehner's rich, rounded paintings to create a most satisfying whole. Buehner is a master character painter who gives three-dimensional life to the girl, Harvey, and all the wonderful balloons. This title should sail onto every library shelf. May Nolen grow a bumper crop of books.-Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT
Mary Harris Veeder
In this original tall tale, Harvey Potter runs "a genuine, U.S. Government Inspected Balloon Farm." The storyteller is a friendly little neighbor girl with pigtails, whom we see as a grown-up balloon farmer on the book's last page. She's pictured staying up late to learn the secret of Harvey's magic planting process. Nolen's "true truth" style contrasts delightfully with the pictures of Harvey's crop, with balloons in all shapes and colors. The dry narrative humor may not reach all children, but the illustrations won't be forgotten. Hidden somewhere in each one, by the way, is a rabbit, a tyrannosaur, a cat, a chicken, a cow, and a pig.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688078881
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/29/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 11.35(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jerdine Nolen is the author of a diverse range of picture books, from the thoughtful In My Momma's Kitchen to the wildly imaginative Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, which was made into a TV movie. Jerdine Nolen lives with her children in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Marl Buehner has six little pilgrims of his own in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he lives with his wife, Caralyn, and their children: Heidi, Grant, Sarah, Samuel, Laura, and Jake. Mark has illustrated many wonderful children's books, including I Am the Cat by Alice Schertle and Harvy Potter's Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. It tells the tale of being a little bit different-and that its okay! The balloons are loveable and I'd like to have some. The elementary school my children attended used this book as the theme for encouraging reading-and this book is so colorful the whole school was bright and cheery! Great read aloud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book came exactly when promised in perfect condition. The packing kept it safe during shipping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was given a copy of this book when I was child, probably about 5-6 years old and LOVED IT. Recently, I was rummaging through some stuff and found my copy of the book and sat down and read it. At 20 years old, this book is still by far one of my absolute favorites. It's a very fun read for all ages. I am so glad I found my copy of this book as I had forgotten how much joy such a light-hearted, beautifully illustrated book like this brings!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom used to read me this book all the time when I was little. It is still one of the best childrens books I have ever read. I am now in 8th grade and I still love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is delightful. I work at a daycare, and all of the kids want this one read. The story is imaginative, the illustrations are beautiful, and it's one of those stories where you can really get into reading it, southern drawl and all. A wonderful addition to any children's or school's library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much, I started sharing it with my 7th grade students every school year. My students love the colorful illustrations and looking for the animals in each picture. It goes to show that this book will work at any grade level.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this book (with sourthern accents and all) our class planted their own balloon farm with a donation from a local Publix store. We really got to use our imagination with this book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My kids love the book and I enjoy reading it everytime
Guest More than 1 year ago
I adore Harvey Potter and his mysterious talent to grow the most beautiful balloons you can imagine. Could he be Harry Potter's inspiration? They even look alike! Unforgetable text and amazing illustrations make this a book you'll love reading time after time after time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My child and I enjoyed reading this book with a southern accent. She really liked the pictures and the special sound effects for 'planting' the balloons.