Thursday, March 15, 2007

Farmer Ham

Farmer Ham
by Alec Sillifant
Illustrated by Mike Spoor
North-South Books
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2134-7

If there's anything Silly Chicks love, it's a bunch of sassy old birds sitting around cracking themselves up. It reminds us of . . . well . . .us!

The crows on Farmer Ham's farm are fat and sassy. They should be. They spend their days eating the farmer's corn. Try as he might, Farmer Ham can't get rid of them. His yelling and arm waving sends them into fits of laughter. The crows flap up to the phone lines where they sit and taunt him, "Silly Old Farmer Ham!" Finally, Farmer Ham hatches a plan, but it doesn't require any arm waving or yelling. Day after day, he calmly heads to the pond and fishes out an old boot, a ratty scarf or some other slime-encrusted piece of clothing. All the while, the sassy crows mock the farmer. But in the end, it's Farmer Ham who gets the last laugh.

Many of Spoor's lively illustrations are from the crows' perspective and that's where the humor lies. The crows are a funny, clever chorus drawn with pizazz. The close-ups of their tear-filled eyes and knee-slapping fits of laughter contrast perfectly with the steadfast, good-natured Farmer Ham who plods merrily along in search of a solution to his problem. The smooth text and energetic illustrations combine to make a book kids will enjoy immensely.

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