Cover image for My farm
My farm
Lester, Alison.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 x 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Australia : Allen & Unwin, 1992.
Reading Level:
830 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 31077.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.7 2 Quiz: 32604 Guided reading level: M.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description

Format :


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

On Order



The author describes growing up on a farm in Australia, including herding cattle, winning a ribbon at the local fair, helping her mother deliver a calf, and receiving a new pony for Christmas.

Author Notes

Alison Lester was born on November 17, 1952, in Foster, Victoria, Australia. She received a higher diploma in teaching at The Melbourne Teacher's College, where she trained as a secondary arts and crafts teacher. Before she began writing and illustrating her own books, she worked as an art teacher and an illustrator. She is the author and illustrator over 25 picture books. Her first novel, The Quicksand Pony, won an Australian Young Readers Book Award and a Children's Book Council of America (CBCA) Book of the Year Award. Her picture books Clive Eats Alligators and the Journey Home each won a CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award. She was Australia's Inaugural Children's Laureate from 2011-2012. In 2016, she was awarded the Children's Language and Literature Award from the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards and inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia's Book of the Year Hall of Fame. She was awarded the 2016 Dromkeen Medal for her body of work and its contribution to the development of children's literature in Australia.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Lester, who grew up on an Australian farm, recalls what life was like when "we worked on the land together" the year her pony died. Soft, pastel watercolors picture the seasons changing as Mum, Dad, Charlie, Kate, Jake, and "me" care for the cattle through cycles of birth and death and as the children ride their ponies "like cowboys," splash in the creek, and play all sorts of wonderful games. The highlight of the year for "me" is the Christmas gift found waiting in the orchard--a palomino pony. Colored borders encircle attractive double-page spreads composed of variously sized pictures that whimsically and lovingly illustrate the words. Radiant with childhood delight, the book lovingly depicts intriguing particulars of everyday life in a faraway place, a place that seems both familiar and strange. Notes about terminology (for example, chooks, mob) and an explanation of Australia's seasonal differences are appended. ~--Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lester ( Imagine ; Isabella's Bed ) opens the barn door, as it were, upon her recollections of life on the Australian farm where she grew up. Family members are introduced up front; the reader then follows the various characters through the ups and downs of one year. As narrator, Lester also lets readers in on some more personal matters--such as her longing for a new pony or her attempts to become famous. Summer days, she reports, were filled with driving ``mobs'' of cattle, picking blackberries and, perhaps, taking a swim. Australian autumn brought new calves, rainstorms and mushrooms; after a winter spent doing chores, springtime marked the season for ``tadpoling and fishing expeditions'' as well as baling hay. Children will likely be fascinated by the different seasons Down Under. Lester's fond remembrances contain dollops of humor and tenderness, and a wealth of information about farm life can be inferred. Through it all, the author/artist's childlike sensibilities keep the pace lively. Her somewhat pale watercolor palette accommodates each of the seasons, offering a pleasant glimpse at a foreign landscape. And her friendly cast of kind-faced figures is truly likable. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-American readers will be introduced to a ``jinker,'' a ``bush run,'' and ``mobs of cattle'' in this gentle memoir. Spanning one year of her childhood on an Australian farm overlooking the sea, Lester's narrative begins and ends near Christmas time in the summer-perhaps a puzzling combination for northern hemisphere children. The scant story line-a child longs for a horse to replace deceased Inky-weaves in and out of the scenes of the everyday life of this family of four children. Such events as the Quietest Pony Contest, the dog high jump, a difficult calf birthing, and cattle drives are engagingly described. Illustrations are plentiful and intricate; varying sized panels (often three per page) create a design that adds great visual interest. The straightforward family portrait that stretches across the top of the first page is particularly charming, introducing each member astride a horse or motorbike. The author's writing and illustrating style is delicate. Her watercolors, neatly lined with ink; the highly stylized figures and faces; and the abundant detailing all contribute to this lovely picture book.-Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.