Review Blog

Nov 26 2018

Trouble on the Farm by Chris Higgins

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Ill. by Emily MacKenzie. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408868874
(Age: 5-7) Themes: Farms, Friends. Trouble on the Farm is a delightful easy-to-read story for the newly independent reader. Chris Higgins captures all the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside and she voices the excitement felt by young Bella and Sid as the visit the farm.
On a sunny Saturday two children who've never been to a farm before, can't contain their excitement. Since Bella and her younger brother Sid and their parents moved from the city a month ago, they've enjoyed all the new country experiences. Tom, a boy from Bella's class has invited the children to spend a day on the dairy farm.
After several changes of clothes, Bella is ready. Mum loads them up with a bunch of flowers and some iced lollies for Tom and his sister Kizzy. Magda their next-door neighbour invites herself along for their farm day, Magda is a force to be reckoned with and doesn't always listen to instructions.
Five-year-old Sid is surprised by the funny looking chickens and even more surprised when Kizzy explains they are turkeys raised for Christmas dinners. Megan, Tom and Kizzy's mother carefully explains what the children can do on the farm and where they can go. She's very specific about not driving the new tractor or riding horses bare-back. Bella's visit soon turns into a major disaster, with Magda leaving gates open, the cows escaping and an unexpected tractor ride.
Chris Higgin's adds lots of fun and drama when the runaway cows are herded into the Farmer's Arms carpark just before a big wedding. With cow poo everywhere, the bride refuses to walk down the red carpet. Bella saves the day which results in a grand entrance on the farm's shiny new red tractor and Megan's farm-style pasties are a winner at the wedding reception.
Emily MacKenzie's energetic drawings show the highlights and the dramas involved in Bella and Sid's farm day. Trouble on the Farm is an engaging story about friendship, being responsible and understanding the consequences of your actions. Young readers will enjoy reading this fun farm story.
Rhyllis Bignell

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