Tuttle's Red Barn: The Story of America's Oldest Family Farm

Tuttle's Red Barn: The Story of America's Oldest Family Farm

by Richard Michelson, Mary Azarian
     
 

In 1632, John Tuttle set sail from England to Dover, New Hampshire. There he set up a farm on seven acres of land. From those humble beginnings the Tuttle family story became America's story.

As the Tuttles passed down the farm, along the way they witnessed the settlement and expansion of New England; they fought in the American Revolution; they helped runaway

Overview

In 1632, John Tuttle set sail from England to Dover, New Hampshire. There he set up a farm on seven acres of land. From those humble beginnings the Tuttle family story became America's story.

As the Tuttles passed down the farm, along the way they witnessed the settlement and expansion of New England; they fought in the American Revolution; they helped runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad and sold maple syrup to Abraham Lincoln; they bought the first Model T in that Dover; and they transformed the old barn into the thriving country store it is today.

With Caldecott Medalist Mary Azarian's evocative woodcuts and Richard Michelson's moving prose bringing the Tuttle story to life, readers will be enraptured by the panorama of American history as seen through the eyes of one family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Michelson (Too Young for Yiddish) and Caldecott Medalist Azarian (Snowflake Bentley) salute 12 generations of Tuttles from Dover, N.H., operators of the longest continuously running family farm in the country (tourists may know its Red Barn farm stand). Tuttles "didn't mind hard work"-a phrase that serves as refrain-and family members found all kinds of ways to reap the land's bounty: along with planting crops, they also made maple syrup (and sold a sample to Abraham Lincoln), harvested cranberries and grapes, and installed the town's first cider mill. Each chapter focuses on the male Tuttle who inherits the farm, and that Tuttle, glimpsed in his youth, observes some history (fifth-generation William hears nine cannon salutes fired nine minutes apart on June 21, 1788, when his state becomes the ninth state to ratify the Constitution; two generations later, Joseph helps runaway slaves). Tuttle family lore, meanwhile, gets its own symbol via a pair of pewter candleholders brought from England by the first Tuttle. Michelson doesn't sentimentalize: the Tuttles endure economic downturns as well as the siren calls of Harvard, Western Expansion and the Industrial Revolution (a friend who leaves his farm for the mills writes, "I only have to work 12 hours a day... and I get Sunday off every week!"). In Azarian's tableau-like woodcuts, styles change while character endures. Her hand-crafted aesthetic enhances the story's warmth and humanity, while the sophisticated tints and bold outlines intensify the unalloyed beauty, reassuring rhythms and beguiling fecundity of rural farm life. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)

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Children's Literature - Sylvia Firth
As the title indicates, this wonderful picture book narrates the history of the farm that belongs to the Tuttle family. John Tuttle arrived in what is now New Hampshire in the early sixteen hundreds. He cleared some land, built a cabin, and married the neighbor's daughter. The farm went to their youngest son, John Jr. who had eight children. His son James eventually ran the farm and turned it over to son Elijah sometime in the seventeen hundreds. When William Tuttle took over the farm it was much larger and almost totally self-sufficient. Joseph was next in line to own the farm. He and his son Joseph Edward helped runaway slaves escape to Canada. The farm continued to grow and prosper with each new generation as a cider mill and vineyard were added. In the nineteen twenties, Hugh Tuttle tried Harvard but soon realized that he wished to operate the family farm. He began selling their homegrown produce, and his son William Penn Tuttle greatly expanded by adding such products as maple syrup, hand spun wool, and hand-churned butter. Currently, the farm is handled by Grayson Tuttle. He is the twelfth generation to own the property. Caldecott Winner Mary Azarian has graced this book with gorgeous woodcut prints that beautifully depict the life of the farm and its owners. This is truly a perfect blend of text and pictures and should be a number one purchase. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
Kirkus Reviews
When John Tuttle arrived in Dover, N.H., in the 1600s, cleared some land and built a cabin, he had no way of knowing how many future Tuttles would benefit from his actions. So far, 12 generations have lived on what became America's oldest family farm, and each learns, grows and adds their experiences in this chronicle of a farm and family. In tracing the history of the land and people-each generation receives a minimum of one spread each-Michelson also relates American history as it affects each set of occupants through their eyes, covering tension between the settlers and Indians, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the Underground Railroad, the changing economy, the appearance of the first automobile and the development of the current store. Azarian's signature woodcut prints add an appropriately warm and folkloric touch. Perhaps more information about Indians and how they did not generally instigate conflict could be included, but otherwise a flawless work-recommended for both home and school reading. (Nonfiction. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399243547
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/20/2007
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
NC860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
When John Tuttle arrived in Dover, N.H., in the 1600s, cleared some land and built a cabin, he had no way of knowing how many future Tuttles would benefit from his actions. So far, 12 generations have lived on what became America’s oldest family farm, and each learns, grows and adds their experiences in this chronicle of a farm and family. In tracing the history of the land and people—each generation receives a minimum of one spread each—Michelson also relates American history as it affects each set of occupants through their eyes, covering tension between the settlers and Indians, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the Underground Railroad, the changing economy, the appearance of the first automobile and the development of the current store. Azarian’s signature woodcut prints add an appropriately warm and folkloric touch. Perhaps more information about Indians and how they did not generally instigate conflict could be included, but otherwise a flawless work—recommended for both home and school reading. —Kirkus, starred review

Meet the Author

Richard Michelson lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Mary Azarian won the Caldecott Medal for Snowflake Bently. She lives in Plainfield, Vermont.

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