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Last edited by WorkBot
January 30, 2010 | History

farmer fred's cow 1 edition

farmer fred's cow
margaret wild

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"on farmer fred's there were four old animals- cow, horse, pig, donkey."

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farmer fred's cow

Published 2004 by abc books in sydney .

About the Book

Farmer Fred’s animals are aging. The cow hardly gives milk, the horse won’t plow much, the pig is infertile, and the donkey can’t manage loads, but Farmer Fred is aging too, and he makes sure that the animals still feel good about themselves. The cow knows that she will die soon, and laments her limited life, but pig tells her that when she dies, she’ll grow wings and be able to fly anywhere and see everything. Horse tells the animals that this isn’t true, and that when cow dies she’ll get buried on the farm and that will be all. But when cow does die, the animals and Farmer Fred finds out the truth.

Farmer Fred’s Cow is a lovely story which handles aging and death in a way that is perfect for young children. It avoids syrupy or overly religious sentiment, and instead simply presents death as a kind of liberation of the spirit. Children who have lost an animal (or person) will find this book particularly helpful and soothing, but most children have a fear of death and this book is the perfect way of giving them a tool to manage that fear. Although my children haven’t had to deal with the loss of an animal, my four year old’s friend just lost a family dog, and I heard him tell her that she didn’t need to be sad because her dog now had wings and was flying around seeing the world. Both were considerably cheered by the concept. I had only read this story to him once, but the impact was obviously a powerful one.

David Waller’s acrylic and coloured pencil illustrations are both soft in tone and rich in colour, and manage to convey the warmth of the relationships between the animals and Farmer Fred. The fanciful “dream” of the flying animals is funny enough to keep the tone light, even in the face of the sombre subject matter, and the prose is evocative:

As Farmer Fred spoke, there was a noise like water slapping against rocks, like thunder rolling in the hills…

Farmer Fred’s final “wheee!” ends the story on a wonderfully positive note. This book will provide your child with a very healthy way of handling aging and death - a perfect gift.

First Sentence

on farmer fred's there were four old animals- cow, horse, pig, donkey.

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History Created December 11, 2009 · 2 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

January 30, 2010 Edited by WorkBot add more information to works
December 11, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page