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Summary: It's a snowy afternoon, and the grandchildren are at Oma's house on the farm. While she is mixing the dough, the children ask her to tell them a story. She picks a story that happened on a snowy winter day when she and the children needed to help their cow Presto, who had just given birth to a calf. This is the second in a picture book series about a family's life on the farm.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book, middle grade reader
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Started reading with 5-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child was mesmerized by the cover. S/He was very anxious for us to read the book, and even after we were finished, sat with it on their lap staring at the picture. For whatever reason, our Kindergartner connected with Presto.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a nice book. Even though it is part of a series, you can read this one without having read the other books. The story is strong and can stand on its own.
Pros: This story introduces the ideas of hope, faith, and perseverence in a way that young readers can understand. It is easy for them to connect to the characters and events that take place, even if they've never been on a farm.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a nice story. It has a positive message that young children can relate to, and it is perfect for your own snowed-in afternoon with fresh cookies. This is nice for listening (pre-readers) and learning to read (first grade) alike.
Educational Themes: This book lends itself to several activities. The obvious ones are doing your own story-telling and learning about the "good old days" from the elders around you (families or friend). You can use this as a way to learn about dairy farming or farmlife in the winter, as well as how cows are born. The story also lends itself to talking about faith, hope, and perseverence in ways that can (but don't have to) connect to religious concepts.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, animal stories, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: June 2007
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