Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hardscrabble Harvest by Dahlov Ipcar

The farmer plants
early in the spring.
He'll be lucky 
if he harvests a thing.

As a librarian, I have found it difficult to find picture books about Thanksgiving.  All I could ever find were drab, lengthy histories or mass market editions like Dora Eats Turkey.  A couple of years ago, I was lamenting about this to my mother.  Then a couple weeks later, she found Hardscrabble Harvest, a shining needle in  the Thanksgiving book haystack.

The story begins in spring when the farmer plants.  In romping rhymes, it tells the troubles the family has toga England a plentiful harvest.  Crows swoop down,  bunnies burrow, and the sheep get loose. But after a season of toil, they bring in the harvest.  The relatives visit and all feast on the year's success.

Dalhov Ipcar manages to use what could be drab harvest colors to make a lively, folksie picture book with a story in each illustration.  My test case, Joshua, loves seeing the naughty bunnies and restless horses.  When I read it to him the first time, I was sure he would wander away bored, but he was enthralled.

I love having books around for my kids to prepare for holidays or other events and this one has made our year round pile.  I am thankful to have finally found a Thanksgiving book worth sharing.