Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Library Binding, 9780618226948, 32pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
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?
"Egan's deadpan voice delivers maximum comic value, and his muted watercolors convey the animals' combination of shyness and hilarity." Publishers Weekly, Starred
"Egan's offbeat, understated humor is used to good effect in the highly amusing text and art, and it's the skillful interplay between the two that makes this book so darn funny." Horn Book, Starred
"The chunky figures of both Farmer Fred and the animals...seem to invite the reader to mimic the expressions... Even the colors--teals, emeralds, brickish reds and clay pinks--seem serious." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The understated tone of the text is supported perfectly by the humorous ink-and-watercolor illustrations..." School Library Journal
Egan is a pro at conveying important life lessons with a light, comic touch; his emphasis here on talking out and respecting differences seems especially apropos in today's world. A welcome blend of depth and humor, no kiddin'.
The Five Owls, Starred