Monday, November 8, 2010

A fluish day - A review of Farm Flu by Teresa Bateman

Most years the flu pays a call at my house and lays most of the human residents very low indeed. This morning both my daughter and I are feeling decidedly under the weather. It will be a day of warm drinks, naps, and as little activity as is possible.
   Several years ago I read and reviewed a very amusing book about a farmer boy who has to take care of the farm animals when they get the flu. I thought I would dig out that review and share it with you today on this House Flu day.

Teresa Bateman
Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Picture Book
Ages 3 to 6
Albert Whitman, 2001, 0807522759
Being a farmer can be very hard work, as one boy discovers when his mother goes away and leaves him in charge of the farm. One by one, the animals on the farm come down with the flu. It all begins with the cow. The boy isn’t quite sure what to do with a flu-ish cow so he does “just what my Mom would do, if it were me who had the flu.” So, he puts the sick cow to bed, brings her hot alfalfa tea to sip, and fluffs her pillows.
   In rapid succession, the rest of the animals on the farm get sick. The boy doggedly sticks to doing “just what my Mom would do” and soon the house is bulging with chickens, piglets, turkeys, a donkey, and a flock of sheep. Each sick animal is lovingly tended and cared for. Finally, one morning, the boy wakes up to the welcome sound of silence. There are no more “Ka-choo’s” from any of the animals. And yet, none of the animals are willing to return to the barnyard. What should the boy do? Why, he does “just what Mom would do” of course, and soon enough the animals leave the house.
   With catchy rhymes, gentle humor, an amusing ending, and bright colorful illustrations this is a perfect ‘get well’ book. 

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