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ON THE FARM by Michelle Sinclair Colman


From the You See, I See series

by Michelle Sinclair Colman ; illustrated by Paul Schmid

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5247-1447-5
Publisher: Knopf

In rhyming verse, explore a farm alongside an enthusiastic toddler.

This tame board book features a toddler and their (extremely youthful) mother admiring scarecrows, playing with ducklings, and spotting various animals and machinery about the farmyard. Books about a day on the farm are an oft-repeated theme for the board-book crew, and there’s no new ground broken here. Digitally rendered, the loose-lined humans and animals have a breezy, caricaturelike style, but they aren’t imbued with much charm. Stick-figure animals populate the backgrounds, and even animals like baby lambs that should be objectively adorable instead resemble shapeless scribbles. While there are scattered perky pages with contrast and color—a page of bright red apples opposite another of golden honey—a vanilla palette of listless, desaturated colors daubed in patches against stark white pages dominates, making this one bland barnyard. Its narrative has an equally dull sound. Ho-hum rhyming reports what mom and baby spot in an overly singsong rhythm that doesn’t flow effortlessly when read aloud: “You see corn in a row / I see a big scarecrow.” Mom and toddler both present white.

It’s docile and harmless, but there are already better barnyard-themed books available to choose.

(Board book. 1-3)