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Thing That Bothered Farmer Brown

Thing That Bothered Farmer Brown

by Teri Sloat, Nadine Bernard Westcott (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like Inside a Barn in the Country (reviewed above), this effort features a standard, mayhem-in-the-barn plot. As Farmer Brown desperately swats at an unseen mosquito whose ``tiny, whiny, humming sound'' keeps him up one night, he demolishes his bedroom and awakens all the animals in his barn. Westcott's (Never Take a Pig to Lunch) illustrations alternate between the farmer's room and the barn's interior, and the skeeter's flight path is indicated by a curly, dotted line across each page (observant readers will wonder why it's light outside the farmer's bedroom window, but nighttime-dark outside the barn window). Sloat (Letter to Letter) tries to build excitement by introducing the nervous animals one by one (``The doves cooed,/ The cows mooed,/ The old horse neighed,/ The donkey brayed''), while Westcott's spreads show anxious chickens tumbling in the hay and a grouchy goat leaping the cover. Yet for all the haphazard action, this tale lacks genuine vitality. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Westcott has drawn the old farmer trying to get to sleep-and his animals would like to sleep, too-but the "tiny, whiny, humming sound" keeps him awake. Every time he tries to swat it, he disturbs more animals, until like the house that Jack built, everyone is awake. Finally, of course, he manages to swat the thing. And finally, he gets to sleep; so do the barnyard animals. A very funny book.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2Farmer Brown's battle with a mosquito is told in toe-tapping verse in this delightful story based on a classic theme. The farmer who cannot sleep tries to kill a bothersome insect and each attempt disturbs more and more animals on the farm, ``But the thing exhausting Farmer Brown was something flying round and round with a tiny, whiny, humming sound.'' Finally the house is quiet, the farmer is asleep...and readers see the pesky critter now annoying the animals in the barn. Westcott's charming black-ink and acrylic drawings spill across the pages in colorful, action-filled pictures. The placement of text and illustrations is energetic and appealing. Byron Barton's wordless Buzz Buzz Buzz (Macmillan, 1973; o.p.) and Jim Aylesworth's Hush Up! (Holt, 1980; o.p.) and Old Black Fly (Holt, 1992) all deal with bothersome bugs. This one hums right along with the best of them. A rousing story-hour offering that's frivolous and fun.Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Carolyn Phelan
As contented as his cows, Farmer Brown eats his supper and goes to bed for the night. "But something bothered Farmer Brown; / Something was flying round and round / With a tiny, whiny, humming sound." Swatting at the wall with his hand, then the newspaper, then his sheet, and finally smacking himself on the head in his attempts to smite the mosquito, the farmer manages to waken every animal in the barn before he gets to sleep. Bright, sassy, and slightly scruffy, Westcott's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are sure to please with their humorous view of farm life in chaos. Read the rhyming text aloud, and children will soon be chiming in on the refrain. Good fun.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.58(w) x 8.72(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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