Little, Brown. Sept. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316528948.
PreS-Gr 3–For most readers, a life in tune with the rhythms of nature on a family farm in the countryside is remote prospect; Blackall’s gorgeous book changes that, by transporting children back to life in the 19th century on a dairy farm, where a family with 12 children lives in a white clapboard house. The detailed illustrated spreads show daily scenes at home and on the farm; some of these interiors are reminiscent of Grant Wood’s painting “Dinner for Threshers,” whereby one outside wall of the farmhouse has been removed offering a glimpse of the interior lives of the family. There is the wood stove in the kitchen, an upright piano in the parlor, quilts in the bedrooms, and homemade wallpaper. The text is one long, poetic sentence that wanders from misbehaving children to contented cows to nighttime dreams to the eventual abandonment of the farm and its reclamation by nature. Blackall has drawn inspiration for the book from an actual house in upstate New York and has begun all her augmented collage illustrations by using fragments of found objects from the farmhouse, including wallpaper, handmade dresses, and catalog advertisements.
VERDICT A love letter to the joys of country living and family life as well as the importance of treasuring the past and all its stories.

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