Story County: Here We Come!

Overview


An adorable and silly new farm series with an utterly lovable cast-from New York Times bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson!

Welcome to Story County!
More than anything, Farmer wants a farm. His friends Dog, Pig, Chicken, and Miss Cow are eager to help. Together they build the barn, spread the fields, plant the crops, and more until voilà!-the farm is complete. Or is it?
Silliness abounds as Derek Anderson ...

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Overview


An adorable and silly new farm series with an utterly lovable cast-from New York Times bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson!

Welcome to Story County!
More than anything, Farmer wants a farm. His friends Dog, Pig, Chicken, and Miss Cow are eager to help. Together they build the barn, spread the fields, plant the crops, and more until voilà!-the farm is complete. Or is it?
Silliness abounds as Derek Anderson takes readers from white page to colorful farm in this charming tale of friendship (and teamwork) as five friends come together to create Story County-a special new home for young readers where anything can happen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Toward the end of this first book in a new series set in Story County, Chicken tells a succinct bedtime story: "Once upon a time... there were five friends. Together they made one wonderful farm. The end." In reducing this book's plot to those few sentences, Anderson demonstrates that storytelling is much more than just what happens. And he proves it in the preceding pages, in which a cheerful yet clueless farmer and four animals create a farm from scratch, transforming empty spreads into a vivid barnyard. Anderson's cartoons are a departure from the richly developed worlds of his Little Quack books; equally accessible, this book's loose aesthetic features characters composed of boldly outlined geometric shapes, splashy colors, and confident brushwork. Chronicled in punchy, dialogue-driven prose, the friends' slapdash process lends itself to amusing scenes: paint sloshes and spills as they work on the barn; Dog buries bones when they plant "their favorite foods"; and Miss Cow, wearing high heels, hauls a crescent moon across the field to decorate the night sky that they paint--the crowning touch on a day's hard work. Ages 2–6. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Della A. Yannuzzi
Anderson's simple story of friendship and working together, along with his colorful, whimsical illustrations will hold a young child's interest. The story unfolds when Farmer and his dog wait for their friends to arrive so they can all make a farm. Soon pig, chicken, and cow join them and begin their work of building a barn. Pig takes the lead and builds a sample of a barn out of mud. Then the animals work as a team to get the job done. "Is our farm finished?" asks Farmer. "Not yet," Dog says. The work team then has to decide what color to paint the barn. The animals soon learn that making a farm is hard work even though they're all working as a team. So they all continue with their jobs. They plant seeds, get hay, build a fence, and most importantly, make a scarecrow to scare off the birds. While Cow paints lipstick on the lady scarecrow's lips, Dog hammers nails into the fence while Farmer brings over more fence railings. When everyone thinks they're done, Dog says, "We're not done yet." With the addition of a cute touch, Farmer and friends are ready for bed. They all share a bedroom and have some fun by jumping up and down on a bed, then fall asleep, happily. The illustrations are bright, big, and filled with action. The story works on many levels; color recognition, friendship, the value of teamwork, and hard work that bring their own rewards. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—In a go-getting display of exuberance, a farmer, pig, cow, chicken, and dog create a farm in a day. Starting with barn building and painting it in rainbow hues, continuing through pouring the fields from bags of "instant farm field" and planting jelly-bean and pizza crops, strategically placing haystacks and scarecrows, and capping it all off with a night sky; this fantasy landscape takes shape. The cartoon characters caper across the warmly colored spreads on oddly disjointed bodies that seem just right for the premise of a magical mystery farm. The book ends as Chicken tells her pajama-clad pals a bedtime story: "Once upon a time...there were five friends. Together they made one wonderful farm." Libraries looking for material on imaginative play may want to consider this funny romp.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews

In a fit of metafictional worldbuilding, Farmer and four animals march gaily onto blank pages and proceed in steps to build a barn, pour out brown fields (from a bag of "Instant Farm Field"), plant tall cornstalks and haystacks, erect a scarecrow (a princess, thanks to Miss Cow) and finally paint in an evening sky. The five then march back to their bedroom for a snack and a quick bedtime recap of the day's activities from Chicken, leaving the farm all set to be the background for further stories in the morning. Each composed from several pieces that aren't always quite attached, Anderson's loose-jointed cartoon figures labor—or in Farmer's case goof off and make silly comments—in simple, increasingly full surroundings. Rounded off with a panoramic view of the deserted barnyard with a "Welcome to Story County!" sign posted in the foreground and a cozy final view of Chicken rocking her eggs to sleep, here's a cheery invitation to children to imagine stories or story stages of their own. (Picture book. 4-6)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545168441
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Series: Story County
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD190L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Derek Anderson is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling illustrator of the Little Quack series by Lauren Thompson as well as HOT ROD HAMSTER by Cynthia Lord. His upcoming original picture book STORY COUNTY: HERE WE COME! publishes in January 2011. He writes and paints in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit him at www.DerekAnderson.net.
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