Queenie Farmer Had Fifteen Daughters

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On the very day Queenie Farmer gives birth to fifteen daughters, her beloved prize herd of cows runs off with her husband in chase. Her life is never dull, and Queenie rises to each task with her own particular flair.
Ann Campbell's delightfully original tall tale weaves together a down-home family story with early math concepts and an introduction to the days of the week. Holly Meade's gentle hand and buoyant...

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Overview

On the very day Queenie Farmer gives birth to fifteen daughters, her beloved prize herd of cows runs off with her husband in chase. Her life is never dull, and Queenie rises to each task with her own particular flair.
Ann Campbell's delightfully original tall tale weaves together a down-home family story with early math concepts and an introduction to the days of the week. Holly Meade's gentle hand and buoyant compositions highlight the bold, independent spirit of Queenie—and each of her beloved girls.

In the absence of her beloved cows, who have run away, Queenie Farmer treats her fifteen daughters like a prize herd, baking them cakes, building them beds, sewing them dresses, helping them get married, and taking care of their children when they finally have them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Campbell (Dora's Box) extends an invitation to enter the realm of the fairy and folktale, with generous doses of humor: "The day that Queenie Farmer gave birth to fifteen daughters, her beloved prize cows got loose. Mr. Farmer went after them and never came back." The action unfolds around several of Queenie's daughters' birthdays, when the girls make a request of their mother, which she obliges willingly ("Her girls asked for so little, and Queenie wanted to give them so much"). The tasks always take her six days, with the payoff on Sunday. When she is asked to make 15 birthday cakes for their sixth birthday, for example, Mrs. Farmer grinds flour on Monday, collects eggs on Tuesday, and so forth, until, "On Sunday, the Farmer girls ate cake five chocolate layer cakes, four yellow sponge cakes, three pound cakes, two ice cream cakes, and one angel food cake" (always a countdown from five to one). The girls up the ante as they mature, so that Queenie ends up going out to find 15 husbands for her girls then baby-sitting their 55 offspring on Sundays. Queenie's indisputable love, energy and ingenuity permeate the tale, while Meade (Hush! A Thai Lullaby) makes the most of the simultaneously born siblings, the seven-day motif, and Queenie's comical yearning for her lost Holsteins (she dresses herself and her "herd" of daughters in black and white). Like the narrative, the artwork mirrors the ebb and flo of life. In the end, it's Queenie's turn, as she happily paints Holsteins all week long ('til Sunday, of course). Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-When Queenie Farmer gives birth to 15 daughters, her cows run away and her husband follows them. The woman raises the children on her own, and she treats them all alike, just like a herd. Once in a while they ask for something, and she does her best to satisfy them. At six, they want their own birthday cakes, so on Monday she grinds flour, on Tuesday she collects eggs, on Wednesday she milks a neighbor's cow, on Thursday she churns butter, on Friday she makes ice cream, and on Saturday she bakes all day and all night. When the girls are 12, they want their own bedrooms. At 16, it's party dresses, and at 21, they ask for husbands. Working her way through the week for each request, Queenie does her best to please her daughters, but when they have 55 babies, she sells her house and moves. From then on, the women and their children visit her every Sunday, and on all the other days Queenie does just as she pleases. Meade's line-and-wash illustrations extend the story and its humor. Young readers will enjoy counting the characters to make sure they're all there and spotting small details. Astute readers will chuckle when they notice that the Farmers always wear black-and-white polka dots-just like their beloved cows. A rollicking good time, with a lesson on the days of the week thrown in for good measure.- Jeanne Clancy Watkins, Chester County Library, Exton, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of the provocative Dora's Box (1998) writes a rollicking and rhythmic maternal tale. The day that Queenie's 15 daughters are born, her prize herd of cows runs off, her husband goes off to find them, and neither comes back. But Queenie copes. When the girls are six, they want individual birthday cakes. When they are 12, they want their own beds, and at 16, their own party dresses, rebelling against the bovine black-and-white they wore. In each case, Queenie rises to the occasion. The girls ask for so little, and she wants to give them so much: "She drafted designs on Monday, sawed wood on Tuesday, wove bedspreads on Wednesday, stuffed pillows on Thursday, hammered nails on Friday, and painted all day-and all night-on Saturday." The results were "five cowboy beds, four princess beds, three water beds, two race-car beds, and one hammock." And so it goes. Queenie even manages to locate and interview 15 fiances for her girls. When the girls produce offspring-quintuplets, quadruplets, and so on-she sells her house, moves to a new one, and entertains all 55 babies every Sunday. But the rest of the week, she does exactly as she pleases. Rosy watercolors with Queenie's signature polka dot motif reflect the bouncy mothers-can-do-everything jollity of the text. Go Queenie. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152019334
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/1/1902
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.08 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

ANN CAMPBELL is a former librarian and children's book editor. She lives in Cotati, California.

HOLLY MEADE has illustrated many books for children, including Hush: A Thai Lullaby, which won a Caldecott Honor. She lives in Newburyport, Massachussetts.

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