Cover image for Barn raising
Barn raising
Brown, Craig McFarland.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
An Amish community gathers to erect a barn in one day, and finishes in time for the owner's cows to be milked there that very evening.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 61657.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



The heart of every working farm is its barn. It provides shelter for animals, storage for their feed, and a place to keep tools and machinery. When the barn on Jacob's farm burns down, Jacob's father knows he has to replace it -- and quickly. In the Amish community a barn is built in a day. Early in the morning friends and neighbors gather to make and raise the frames of the barn, to roof it, and to add the siding. By evening a new building rises from the landscape. Once again the animals have shelter, their feed is stored, and the farm equipment is in place. Craig Brown's vigorous, folkloric-style paintings convey so much more than an intricate, step-by-step process of barn construction. Shining through is a spirit of generosity, cooperation, and neighborly concern that is at the core of every barn raising.

Author Notes

Craig Edward Moncrieff Brown is an English satirist and critic who is best known for his parodies in the British News Magazine, Private Eye. He attended Eton and Bristol University and became a freelance journalist in London. He was a columnist, sketchwriter, and restaurant critic for publications such as: The Tatler, The Spectator, The Times, and The Sunday Telegraph. He also writes comedy shows such as the television hit "Norman Ormal", and the radio show "This is Craig Brown".

In 2018 he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in the biography category for his biography of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret. His other title's include: The Lost Diaries, One on One, and The Tony Years.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

PreS. In this attractive picture book, Brown does a good, solid job of depicting an Amish barn raising. Following a fire on an Amish farm, one neighbor houses the animals who lived there, while others help clear the ground and build a foundation for a new barn. On barn-raising day, many people arrive in horse-drawn buggies to help. The detailed illustrations show the new building taking shape as dozens of men in blue pants, white shirts, and black suspenders erect the skeletal wooden framework, break for a lunch beneath the trees, then add the roof and siding. Brown offers a series of large outdoor scenes drawn in ink and warmed with muted colors. The barn itself is the focus here more than the individuals; even so, the book spotlights a community of people who are willing and able to help their neighbors. Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Brown's title page depicts lightning striking a barn. The ensuing wordless spread shows the chaos of the Amish family herding their animals away from the fire. What follows are scenes of the community responding to its neighbors' need, as the men come together and raise a new barn in one day. Long views; medium-range shots; and framed, inset close-ups show them clearing the land, raising the "skeleton" with poles and ropes, and laying the roofing panels. The artist's compositions, rendered in earthy pastels and pen and ink, are filled with the action of intersecting lines, many oriented diagonally. Brown also creates a variety of textures; the sweeping, visible brush strokes comprising the periwinkle sky are particularly effective. An author's note places the event in Iowa and offers a bit of background. Pair this story with Richard Ammon's An Amish Year (Atheneum, 2000), Sarah Stewart's The Journey (Farrar, 2001), and Patricia Polacco's Just Plain Fancy (Dell, 1994) for a visual sampling of Amish culture.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.