The farmer’s hat has gone walkabout, lifted by the wind. The animals help by telling him where it’s been but they can not tell him where it is now, because it keeps blowing further. The farmer tells the life of the hat and why it’s important that he find it. But it’s not the same hat that returns to him…
What happened to my hat?’ asked the farmer.
‘I had a fine hat, a well-worn hat,
that smelled of hay and grass and sweat.
The farmer’s hat has gone walkabout, lifted by the wind. The animals help by telling him where it’s been but they can not tell him where it is now, because it keeps blowing further. The farmer tells the life of the hat and why it’s important that he find it. But it’s not the same hat that returns to him…it’s subtly altered and brings with it a special surprise. Illustrations in country colours show an Australian farm, in the hot summer and in the memories of the farmer.
There is plenty to look for as the story of the farmer’s lost hat unfolds. Not only can the track of the floating, flying hat be seen, but there are lambs being born, paddocks lush and green, sheep catching a ride on the tractor, a dog ‘skiing’ behind the tractor and more. ‘The Farmer’s Hat’ is told in gentle rhyme with a refrain repeated throughout, ‘The wind took it whooshing and whirling.’ Only at the end does the reader discover that the wind was bringing the rain. This ending encourages the reader to go back and look for the signs of drought that are certainly there, although the narrative mentions only the affection and memories the farmer attaches to the hat. Recommended for preschool and early primary-aged children.
The Farmer’s Hat, Kim L. Barnes & Andrew Joyner
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author www.clairesaxby.com
When the sun goes down and the farmers go to bed – it’s COWTIME!
The girls in the cowshed really go to town, dancing and mooing up a storm. But that’s not all – soon the pigs start jumping, horses start wiggling, and the goats, sheep, ducks – even kangaroos and possums – all join in.
This high energy book, by talented writer/illustrator Kim Barnes, is guaranteed to thrill every young reader. The rollicking rhyme, compelte with mooing chorus, is silly enough to have the most serious listener smiling and mooing along.
There are even actions, demonstrated on each page by a dingo, making the book an excellent resource for preprimaries, playgroups and child care centres.
The illustrations are outstanding. Every page is packed full of colour and action. The detail is exceptional, with loads of surprises to be discovered on rereadings. A cat (who refuses to take part in the silliness of the dance) is cleverly hidden on each page, and other clever touches, include the multicultural faces of the human characters, as well as one who is wheelchair-bound.
Cowtime is sure to be an enduring classic.
Cowtime, written and illustrated by Kim Barnes
Scholastic Press, 2002