Cover image for Serious farm
Title:
Serious farm
Author:
Egan, Tim.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Summary:
Farmer Fred takes his work very seriously and so do his animals, until they decide they need to make the farm more fun and set out to find a way to make Farmer Fred laugh.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 73898.
ISBN:
9780618226948
Format :
Book

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PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Summary

Summary

Farmer Fred never smiled much. "Farmin' is serious business," he'd say. "Nothin' funny about corn." And so life on his farm was pretty serious. None of the animals laughed or even smiled. But everyone has to laugh sometimes, including Farmer Fed. The animals try everything to get him to smile: dancing by the light of the moon in Farmer Fred's clothes, singing chickens, sheep disguised in sunglasses and mustaches. Nothing works and finally the animals decide to leave Serious Farm in search of a more cheerful place to chuckle and graze. Will the animals find a livelier home, and will Farmer Fred ever lighten up?


Author Notes

Tim Egan is the author and illustrator of several offbeat and humorous tales for children. He is consistently recognized for his individuality and delightful illustrations. Born in New Jersey, Tim moved to California to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He still lives in southern California with his wife, Ann, and their two sons. To learn more about Tim Egan, visit his Web site at www.timegan.com. For a complete list of books by Tim Egan, visit www.houghton mifflinbooks.com.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Egan's (The Experiments of Doctor Vermin; Chestnut Cove) dignified animal characters tend to meet life's challenges with cool stoicism, despite the occasional urge to act silly. In this dryly funny story, the furred and feathered residents of Farmer Fred's barnyard likewise cultivate a dispassionate attitude: "The pigs, the cows, the horses, the chickens, the rabbit, the sheep. All extremely serious." Everyone, especially Farmer Fred himself, wears the determined, impassive gaze of the morning commuter. So much nonchalance bothers Edna the cow, who launches an initiative to make Farmer Fred laugh. The animals try absurdity after absurdity: they perform impromptu acrobatics, wear Groucho glasses and, in the pigs' case, bark like dogs ("That's more weird than funny," Farmer Fred shrugs). Farmer Fred turns out to be one tough customer, meeting the animals' shenanigans with steely, W.C. Fields-caliber resistance. Egan's deadpan voice delivers maximum comic value, and his muted watercolors convey the animals' combination of shyness and hilarity; a shift of the eyebrows or a slight tilt of the mouth can betray a long-suppressed sense of humor. Yet this tale has heart as well as high jinks. When the animals decide to run away from the problem, Farmer Fred hurries after them: "Sure I'm serious, but that doesn't mean you have to be," he says. "And, besides, we're family.... I need you." Egan acknowledges the awkward but heartfelt exchanges of affection that so often pass between family members, as his characters, initially distant from one another, reach a warm and realistic understanding. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-This iconographic depiction of Tim Egan's picture book (Houghton, 2003) is a delight to watch. Farmer Fred is a very serious man, never smiling or laughing. When the animals on the farm decide that the farm, especially Farmer Fred, is too serious, they do everything they can think of to get him to laugh. Unfortunately, neither cows acting like roosters, grinning goats, nor animals dressed in clothes make Farmer Fred laugh. Discouraged, the animals run away. Finally, it is the sight of the farm animals in the woods that gets a chuckle out of Farmer Fred, convincing the animals to return home. Select areas of Egan's humorous ink-and-water color illustrations are focused on and interspersed with full views of the illustrations to enhance the telling of the story. Narrator David Calabrese tells the story in a fitting gruff, humorous tone. Background music and sound effects add to the tale. A fine addition to collections that support early grade school curriculum.-Veronica Schwartz, Des Plaines Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.