Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary

Overview

Maya the cow, J.D. the piglet, Hilda the sheep, and a dozen more animals all speak directly to the reader, showing off their unique personalities in this wonderful collection of poems. Master watercolorist Robert Rahway Zakanitch provides a portrait that perfectly captures the essence of each creature. Together the poems and paintings add up to a picture of life on the friendliest farm around.

Maya Gottfried based her poems on real animals from Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for ...

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Overview

Maya the cow, J.D. the piglet, Hilda the sheep, and a dozen more animals all speak directly to the reader, showing off their unique personalities in this wonderful collection of poems. Master watercolorist Robert Rahway Zakanitch provides a portrait that perfectly captures the essence of each creature. Together the poems and paintings add up to a picture of life on the friendliest farm around.

Maya Gottfried based her poems on real animals from Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for injured or abused farm animals with locations in New York and California.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Maya Gottfried cleverly captures the creative writing styles of various livestock (“Yummy pants leg, can I try some?” ask two baby goats), while charming watercolors from Robert Rahway Zakanitch capture the fretful face of a calf named Whitaker, or the defiance in the eye of a duck named Diego.” — Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“…each fetching personality is nudged along by the poetic lines of Maya Gottfried. There is a subtle message here, to be sure—all the world’s creatures deserve care and respect—but it is handled with a very light touch. Robert Zakanitch’s watercolors are quite wonderful….” — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
 
“A lovely farm collection perfect for spring.” — Midwest Book Review
 
“There are few books for young kids on this subject. From the cover image of one vulnerable lamb to the farm overviews on the endpapers, the physical images about the joy of home will move young animal lovers and those who read to them.” — Booklist
 
“The third collaboration from this talented pair ... presents an assortment of farm animals through short, humorous poems and whimsical paintings that give each animal a distinct personality.” — Kirkus Reviews
 
“Splendid to look at, pleasant to read, Our Farm is a fine springboard for talking about the real lives of farm animals in America.” — School Library Journal
 
Our Farm will make you a better man. If you need to melt someone’s heart for Vday, we suggest doing it the old-fashioned way. What lover wouldn’t go crazy for a tender-hearted man that reads poetry to them?” — TheDiscerningBrute.com
 
“I couldn’t tear myself away from the book.” — Compassionate Cooks
 
“If I had a kid, I would definitely read him/her this thought-provoking book. It humanizes animals that children normally expect to be on their dinner plate, but in such a subtle and creative way.” — Vegansaurus.com
 
“...there’s a new breed of books coming out that are explicitly vegan-friendly, like Maya Gottfried’s Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary. Maya’s fun (but not overly cutesy) poems are a perfect match for the paintings and sketches by Robert Rahway Zakanitch.” — The Veg Blog
 
“The book is meant for children, and it is certainly recommended for them, but it can be just as much enjoyed by grown-ups who love animals, art, and/or poetry. We hope it will draw readers to Farm Sanctuary to make friends with the ‘authors.’” — VegetarianFriends.net
 
“This publication is a must have in every animal lover’s library. And like Ms. Gottfried’s other work, Good Dog, this one also makes a fine coffee table addition!” — VegBooks.org
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Animals living at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York are the narrators of this tale. In brief, carefully-crafted verse, they tell of their lives on the farm and feelings about it. Maya, a cow, offers to teach a little calf "a wise old thing or two." J.D., a piglet, runs wildly and virtually non-stop until feeding time. Each of the ducklings in a family adds a comment. Hungry baby goats note that it is "[n]ice to meet chew." Finally, Hilda the sheep states her thanks for the beauty in the world around her and "the kind hearts and hands that brought me to my home." Double-page spreads display naturalistic watercolor portraits while pen-and-ink sketches and studies give sensitive impressions of ordinary farm animals. We are treated to pages filled with the comic antics of the ducklings as they twirl, dance, parade, and "shake a tail." On another page, we return the quizzical stare of a donkey. The brilliant red of the rooster's comb and the staring eye emphasize who is guarding the hen house. "A Note for Grownups" fills in information about the Farm Sanctuary. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—This homage to the shelter for neglected and abused farm animals where Gottfried served as a volunteer is a book of poems and accompanying paintings that will raise awareness both of the Sanctuary and the sad reasons for which such a place exists. But it has more to recommend it. The poems are "narrated" by some of the shelter's inhabitants: Gabriella, a bantam chicken; Maya, a cow; Diego, a duck; and others. The quality of the poetry is uneven; the tendency to waver between rhymed meter and free verse is unsettling. Still, there's a disarming innocence throughout, and the best of the selections are enchanting. Zakanitch's illustrations are superb. Each one is a collectible work of art, exhibiting a masterful technique, tenderness, subtlety, and humor. Readers will halt nervously when they meet the glowering eye of the rooster and will want to reach out and touch the thick wooly head of the sheep. Childlike sketches are sometimes mixed in with the watercolor and ink paintings, lending them an easy informality. Splendid to look at, pleasant to read, Our Farm is also a fine springboard for talking about the real lives of farm animals in America.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Animals living at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York are the narrators of this tale. In brief, carefully-crafted verse, they tell of their lives on the farm and feelings about it. Maya, a cow, offers to teach a little calf "a wise old thing or two." J.D., a piglet, runs wildly and virtually non-stop until feeding time. Each of the ducklings in a family adds a comment. Hungry baby goats note that it is "[n]ice to meet chew." Finally, Hilda the sheep states her thanks for the beauty in the world around her and "the kind hearts and hands that brought me to my home." Double-page spreads display naturalistic watercolor portraits while pen-and-ink sketches and studies give sensitive impressions of ordinary farm animals. We are treated to pages filled with the comic antics of the ducklings as they twirl, dance, parade, and "shake a tail." On another page, we return the quizzical stare of a donkey. The brilliant red of the rooster's comb and the staring eye emphasize who is guarding the hen house. "A Note for Grownups" fills in information about the Farm Sanctuary. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375861185
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/9/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 518,013
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Maya Gottfried is a writer of poetry and prose for both children and adults. She works for a publishing company in New York City, and has served as a volunteer for Farm Sanctuary. Maya Gottfried lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Robert Rahway Zakanitch is an artist who lives and works in New York City. He was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Grant, and his work is represented in many museum collections. Read more about his work at www.zakanitch.com.

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