It's Milking Time

It's Milking Time

by Phyllis Alsdurf, Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
     
 

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A lyrical and visual treasure—perfect for reading aloud to any child who's ever asked: Where does milk come from?

As the sun sets over the fields, a little girl and her father begin the evening milking. They work side by side, fanning out beds of straw, bringing in the cows, and hooking up the milkers.

Soon they've filled milk can after milk can for

Overview

A lyrical and visual treasure—perfect for reading aloud to any child who's ever asked: Where does milk come from?

As the sun sets over the fields, a little girl and her father begin the evening milking. They work side by side, fanning out beds of straw, bringing in the cows, and hooking up the milkers.

Soon they've filled milk can after milk can for the creamery truck that will arrive in the morning. The fresh dairy product isn't just for them—other families will buy their milk, butter, and cheese at stores and farmers' markets near and far, connecting the little girl's farm to the world beyond.

Phyllis Alsdurf has created a poetic story that lovingly depicts the special bond between a child and her father, as well as the relationship between a young farmer and her animals. With Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's exquisite illustrations, It's Milking Time is a must-have for any picture book collection.

A natural read-aloud selection for fans of Jane Yolen's Owl Moon.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
On a Midwestern dairy farm, a young girl helps her father with the daily milking chores, leading their Holsteins to the barn, feeding the calves, shoveling manure and washing up. The refrain, "Every morning, every night, / it's milking time," emphasizes the repetitive nature of dairy farm chores, done "Every day of the week, / every week of the month, / every month of the year." In short lines set on full-bleed, double-page paintings, the narrator describes the process. These cows are milked serially with a single milking machine. Pail by pail, the foamy milk is poured into cans, which are set into a cooler and later trucked away. Paddles help carry off manure, but the feeding, straw-spreading and washing up are done by hand. This farm is not yet entirely mechanized. The subdued colors of Fancher and Johnson's soft acrylics add to the sense of dreamy reminiscence. Though there are still small farms where milking happens like this, few children, today, have had a chance to drink their own fresh milk with morning pancakes, nor have their mothers skimmed off the cream for coffee. This fond memory from the author's own childhood should find a place on shelves right next to Carole Foskett Cordsen's The Milkman, illustrated by Douglas B. Jones (2005). It's a lovely, poetic picture. (Picture book. 4-7)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Every morning, every night, it's milking time." This is the repeated refrain as a young girl describes for readers the routine that dairy farmers like her dad must follow so we can have milk to drink. The cows must be moved from the fields in the evening into the barn, where she and her father have laid fresh straw, put out feed, and prepared the milkers. Each cow is hooked up and milked in turn; the milk is taken to the milk house. The girl then enjoys her special job, feeding the calves. Cleanup of the machines and the manure follows. The work is done for the night, but will begin again in the morning, every day, week, month, and year. The jacket's naturalistic painting of our narrator leading the line of cows along the path introduces the quiet inevitability that dominates the detailed double-page scenes. In one, the father and daughter stare out a window at the growing corn; the image makes us feel the "hot, heavy" air along with the routine of their lives. A sequence of illustrations is equally successful in conveying her affection for the young calf. This is an introduction to a life unfamiliar to most young readers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375869112
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
782,533
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

PHYLLIS ALSDURF grew up on a southern Minnesota dairy farm, where one of her chores was to run down the lane and bring the cows to the barn for milking. In that herd of Holsteins was her father's favorite, Jay-Jay, the cow to whom this book is dedicated. Today Phyllis teaches writing at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Jim, and two boxers, Stella and Sophie.

STEVE JOHNSON and LOU FANCHER have illustrated over thirty-five books for children, including Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets, A Boy Named FDR, and The Boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krull; My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss; and New York's Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne. I Walk at Night by Lois Duncan was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year. Steve and Lou live in California with their son, Nicholas. You can visit their website at johnsonandfancher.com

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