A Farm Country Tales Series
Reviewed by Jeri L. Dobrowski in Cowboy Jam Session: Western Culture News & Reviews
For the little farmers in your life, consider the Farm Country Tales series by Gordon W. Fredrickson. These beautiful, full-color hardback books are built to last, which is exactly what Fredrickson had in mind. His goal is to create keepsake books that accurately reflect what it was like growing up on a small farm. These books would jump-start reminiscing among retired farmers and "senior" farm kids, so don't limit potential recipients just to youngsters. Click HERE to read the entire review.
A Farm Country Thanksgiving
Reviewed by Madeline (age 9) and Sophia (age 7) McElroy for Reader Views
Madeline: Another great story by Gordon W. Fredrickson! I have read several of his books and this is one of my new favorites. The books in the Farm Country series are about farm life from a child’s point of view. The story is written using rhyming words; I think it’s very creative. This style of writing is fun to read.
My favorite part of this Thanksgiving Day story is when Joey put his tongue on the side of the frozen water pump and it stuck like glue! This is also one of my favorite pictures! I think all of the artwork in the book is very good.
This story shows how much work there is to do on a farm. They were having family over for dinner, but before they arrived they had to clean the barn, stack hay, shovel snow, milk cows and much more! I think that young children to teens and their parents would enjoy this book and other books by Gordon W. Fredrickson.
Sophia: I think it would be fun to have Thanksgiving on a farm just like they did in this book! But, they had a lot of work to do on the farm before they could have fun. The worst thing would be cleaning up the cow poo — gross!
I really like the illustrations, they are really pretty. My favorite picture is of the family making Thanksgiving dinner, it reminds me of my family cooking together. My favorite part of the story is when everyone sits down for dinner; this reminds me of going to our friend’s house for Thanksgiving last year. I also liked that the family was praying before they ate dinner.
I have read many of Fredrickson’s books before, they are amazing! You will learn a lot about living on a farm from these books. My favorite book is “Farm Country Christmas.” The author uses rhyming in all his books, I think it makes reading the stories more fun!
Madeline and Sophia: “A Farm Country Thanksgiving” Gordon W. Fredrickson is a fun read.
A Farm Country Christmas Eve
Recommended for ages 6 and up
By Midwest Book Review (5.0 out of 5 stars)
A Farm Country Christmas is a charming children's and adults' Christmas story based on the author's memory of his childhood on a farm near New Prague, Minnesota, in eastern Scott County. The story starts on Christmas eve in 1950 with a hardworking farm family of five; Mags, Joe, Gordon, and Mother and Father. The farm family must complete all their usual milking and barn chores first so Santa can visit the farmhouse and leave their presents unseen. To help Santa in his job, the father will open the grain bin to give some grain to Santa's hungry reindeer. The children have special tasks to do to help with the barn chores and even younger brother Joe is taught to entice a new calf to drink milk from a bucket by using his two fingers dipped in milk for the calf to suck on. Barn cats are given stray squirts of fresh milk and the whole family celebrates the gift of a new Christmas calf they name Pearl. The value of each member of the family helping with the chores to the best of their ability is carefully underlined.
The tale is told in quaint rhyming couplets and colorful nostalgic but realistic illustrations bring the farm scenes and memories to life. At the end of the evening's chores, a wonderful surprise awaits the children in the house. Before they can go to the living room, the children carefully wash up with soap and water in the comfortable old kitchen with a one basin sink and white footed wood stove. Wondrous gifts of a new sled, tractor, and dolly with fine yellow hair have already been glimpsed under the tree, but the final confirming detail for Gordon is the kernels of oats left on the sled. His father explains, "If you listen, I'll tell you; what happened right here./ First Santa fed oats to eight hungry reindeer./ Then he left the doors open to run to his sleigh,/ And the reindeer and Santa all hurried away (p. 25)."
A Farm Country Christmas Eve is a lovely children's book that will touch and turn the memories of many adults who read it and also share those memories. Added realistic details include a map of the farm family area plus a diagram of the family farm homestead layout. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
What Children are Saying:
"I really liked the book, I love it. This is a great story about a family on a farm. ...My favorite part is that I think the illustrations are really good." ~ Madeline McElroy (age 7.5) for Reader Views.
"I like A Farm Country Christmas Eve because it is about farm animals and Santa. My favorite part of this book is when the Mom is milking the cow and she squirts some milk into the pet cat's mouth. It was so funny!" ~ Sophia McElroy (age 5.5) for Reader Views.
Click here to read the entire review from Readers View
What Farmers, Parents, and Grandparents are Saying:
"The book accurately depicts what farm life was like for me and my sisters and brother growing up on our dairy farm near Rochester, Minnesota, in the 1930's, from the hungry cats to using the fingers to teach the calves to put their noses down into the milk pail…I gave the book to my 3-year-old granddaughter…She enjoyed the book." ~ H. W. Stoltenberg, Stanley, New Mexico.
"I used your A Farm Country Christmas Eve on Saturday, December 22, 2008 with all of my 15 grandchildren present. ...None of the kids know farm life but their parents do. When reading about the kitties coming from everywhere, I even got the adults' attention. A Farm Country Christmas Eve will be read every Christmas now. Thanks for putting in writing what a farmer used to do." ~ Marge Salz, Stacyville, Iowa.
"...I love this type of book. I can relate with everything in the book and it brought back many memories of my childhood and young adulthood…. Christmas for us was about how you described it in your book. ...I read this book to my 9-year-old neighbor girl and she could not believe that was how things were when I grew up." ~ Eleanore Popp, Hayfield, Minnesota.
"Loved your book. I also grew up on a small dairy farm. I come from a family of 10 brothers and sisters. So much of your story brings back memories of home…I'd be interested in any more books you publish…Keep up the beautiful stories and if you can let me know of any more." ~ Denise Jacobs, Plainview, Minnesota.
What Teachers Are Saying:
"The book A Farm Country Christmas Eve captures a moment in time and brings it to life for kids young and old to enjoy. Gordon Fredrickson's stories help teach social studies skills on what family and community life was like in the past."
~ Cassandra Erickson, third grade teacher, Otsego, Minnesota.
"We really like the rhyming pattern that matches 'Twas the Night before Chrismas. It makes it easy and fun to read. ...Children today will get a real sense of time gone by. The illustrations give life to the time period with dramatic colors."
~ Mary Baker, Colleen Curan, Ashlee Mashek, Lori Reinschmidt,third grade teachers, St. Michael, Minnesota.
"After experiencing several of Gordon Fredrickson's presentations to elementary age students, I found each presentation mesmerizing. Children listened attentively and asked pertinent questions. They seemed to tune in on the closeness and magic of family life on a small farm in 1950. ...the message that a family works and plays together on family farm in order to succeed is extremely powerful." ~ Diana Sawdey, elementary school teacher, retired,Otsego, Minnesota.
"Gordon Fredrickson...is a gifted storyteller/teacher that students will remember for years to come. His attention to detail in verse and illustrations make the book an educational journey for the young and a nostalgic look back for adults. A Farm Country Christmas Eve will become a holiday favorite." ~ Nancy Terhark, retired teacher, Park Rapids, Minnesota