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Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle. Illustrated by Becca Stadtlander. Chronicle, 2016

The transformation from autumn to winter on a small farm means “putting the farm to bed.” Strawberry plants must be covered with straw, the autumn harvest finished, oats and rye planted to replenish the fields. “Good night, fields, peaceful and still.” Brush is burned, wood is cut and stacked, hay bales placed as a windbreak for the hives of bees. “Good night, bees, sheltered and safe.” The repeated “good night” refrain follows a detailed accounting of many tasks that also give a sense of the abundant harvests that came before. The work, shared by every member of the farm family—mother, father, girl, boy—is realistically yet refreshingly non-gender-stereotyped. This contemporary story is set against warm, detailed folk-art illustrations that have a nostalgic, almost idyllic feel. Everything looks cozy, which seems appropriate for a good-night story. (Ages 3–7)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: “Big Tractor” by Nathan Clement
  • Talk: About the vegetables and fruits grown on the farm. What does the family in the book do to ready the farm for winter? What do you does your family do to get ready for winter?
  • Sing: “Farmer in the Dell”
  • Write: Use vegetables in paint or ink to make vegetable stamp prints.
  • Play: Use play materials to build your own farm. Pretend to tuck the farm in for winter.
  • Math or Science: Find all the vegetables that are orange/red/green. Find all the animals.

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