During our recent farm unit, we had the opportunity to read a number of books about farm animals. In this post I’m sharing those books with you along with a brief description and review so you can judge if they would be good to share with your kids.
Note: For more kid-friendly farm activities and printables, see my Life on the Farm Unit Study page.
On the Farm by David Elliott
The beauty of this book is in its simplicity. Each spread describes just one farm animal through a short and simple rhyme. Each description is accompanied by woodcut and watercolor illustrations showing each animal in action. Although the book does not have a plot, what it does do well is focus on a great variety of farm animals including the typical ones (e.g., cows, sheep) and not-so-typical ones (e.g., bees, rabbits).
Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier
Millie is a cow whose favorite pastime is scaring the mail carrier that delivers mail to the farm each day. One day when the mail carrier tries to do something nice for Milly, things go wrong and Millie ends up ruining the mail carrier’s bicycle. Millie learns a lesson, however, and ends up making a new friend and finding a new favorite pastime. Young readers will also learn valuable lessons about helping others along the way.
Five Little Chicks by Nancy Tafuri
This book follows five little chicks looking for food. Told in rhythmical fashion, each chick spies something unusual – a fat worm, a spotted bug, a fuzzy butterfly, a red strawberry, and a shiny trout – and wonders if they can eat it. Fortunately, the wise Mama Hen comes to the rescue. She re-directs her baby chicks to more appropriate food as they go scratch, scratch, scratch for food in the corn patch.
This story uses rhyming text and a jaunty pace. Following the adventures of Farmer Brown’s sheep, who feel cold after their wool is sheared off, young readers will see the process by which wool is sheared from sheep and washed, spun, dyed, and knitted into clothing that we wear everyday.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
By famed author Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon, Big Red Barn uses rhythmical text to describe a typical day at a farm. Young readers will hear about the sounds and actions of animals during the daylight hours, and then follow the animals into nighttime when they fall sound asleep. This book introduces young readers to a variety of farm animals and other farm imagery such as weather vanes, hay piles, and scarecrows.
This Little Chick by John Lawrence
This Little Chick provides a great introduction to the sounds that various farm animals make. The story follows a multilingual little chick who goes to visit the other animals on the farm. When the chick visits the pigs, he oinks. When he visits the ducks, he quacks. When he visits the cows, he moos. But at the end of the day, he goes home to his mom and young readers will be surprised to hear what sound the little chick makes then!
Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton’s silly style is on full display in this fun story that evokes a hand-clapping, knee-slapping good time at the barnyard dance. The lyrical text adds to the fun as young readers hear of bowing to horses, twirling with pigs, and strutting with ducks. By the end of the story, children may be ready to get out their dancing shoes for a barnyard dance of their own!
Bob by Tracey Campbell Pearson
This fun book will have children laughing along as they watch Bob the rooster learn to speak like a cat, dog, frog, and more. Children will also cheer when Bob puts his new skills to use to protect the chicken coop from a fox.
Does A Cow Say Boo? by Judy Hindley
Does a cow say boo? Of course not! But then who says boo? Certainly not any of the farm animals depicted in this story. Young readers will learn about the sounds made by each animal, and at the end will learn who says boo – children do!
The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards
It is a very grumpy morning indeed for the animals when the farmer forgets to wake up one day. The cow begs to be milked, the cat wants to cuddle, and all the other animals are hungry and ready to eat! Eventually the grumpy animals band together to wake up the sleepy farmer, and all ends well.
Bernard The Angry Rooster by Mary Wormwell
This story follows Bernard, a proud speckled rooster whose job is to crow each morning to wake up the other animals. But one day, he became very angry and started being mean to the other animals. They all tried to ask him what was wrong, but he would not answer them. In the end, it is discovered that Bernard is jealous of the new, rooster-shaped weather vane that had been installed on top of the farmhouse. Parents who read this book with their children may want to discuss with their kids how Bernard could have expressed his anger in a more appropriate way rather than acting mean toward all of his friends.
Hen Hears Gossip by Megan McDonald
This story was likely inspired by the game Telephone, in which messages are whispered from person to person, and end up changing quite dramatically along the way. In this story, Hen overhears some gossip, which she promptly shares with Duck, who then shares it with Goose, who then shares it with Turkey. The gossip makes its way around the farm until someone finally shares it back with Hen. When the message gets back to Hen, the animals learn a lesson about the importance of checking their facts before spreading gossip.
More farm learning resources
More farm posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Farm Printables Pack
- Farm do-a-dot printables
- Farm grid games printables
- Farm Montessori activities
- Learning about farm animals
- Fun on the Farm preschool activities
- Fall on the Farm sensory bin
For more kid-friendly farm activities and printables, see my Life on the Farm Unit Study page and my Farm Unit Pinterest board. Follow Katie @ Gift of Curiosity’s board Unit Ideas: Farm on Pinterest.