The Farmer and the ClownThe book opens as a farmer angrily toils away in solitude. All of a sudden, he's startled as a young clown bounces off a passing circus train. As the farmer brings the little clown home, he looks burdened, exhausted. Just look at the farmer's body language:
by Marla Frazee
Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster, 2014
Your local library
*best new book*
|from The Farmer and the Clown, by Marla Frazee|
Read this book with a child and watch how still they get, how their eyes light up -- especially at the page below when the clown washes off his makeup. And then at the end, the questions I always ask children are:
- What moment does the farmer start to change?
- How can they tell?
- What do they notice?
"I listen with my ears, eyes and heart — When I listen as well as hear, I can really understand. When we listen with our ears, our eyes, and our hearts, we become deep listeners who can “hear between the lines.” Our ears bring us the words and intonation; our eyes bring us body language, gestures, and facial expressions; and our hearts bring us empathy—allowing us to walk in someone else’s shoes."I think this perfectly describes how we can understand the farmer--and why this book engages readers so emotionally--without any words at all. By listening closely, we develop empathy for another person.
Read more about the process Marla Frazee used in creating this beautiful book, one of my favorites of the year, at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast -- I loved all the work in progress she shows. I also love the conversation Marla has with Roger Sutton at this Horn Book interview.
Read The Farmer and the Clown with a little person in your life, and enjoy the warmth of the friendship. Read it with an older child and relish the conversation it can start. Or just find a peaceful moment for yourself and savor the beauty of listening with our eyes, ears and heart.
The review copy was purchased for our school library. Illustrations are copyright ©2014 Marla Frazee, used with permission from the publisher Simon & Schuster. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.
©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books