scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm is a book that doesn't have a singular narrative story to it, but works well as a delightful introduction to the animals on a particular farm. You feel as if the farmer has taken you by the hand and led you around, introducing you to the different kinds of animals and telling you their names, as well as pointing out their idiosyncrasies and personality quirks. You feel like you're learning from someone who has developed years of experience and patience in working with animals.
I use the word "delightful" because it really comes across that the author is someone who delights in their animals, even when they are being annoying or difficult to manage. This perspective manages to give the animals respect and dignity (and names) without anthropomorphizing them.
We get to meet the "four special cats," learn what makes each of them unique, and see a few vignettes of what each of them do throughout the day, together or alone.
We learn about how wonderful geese are except for one particular trait: they have bad tempers.
We are told all about the horses and how they interact together. We hear about how Ibn Rafferty hurt his foot, doesn't like to come when he's called, and likes to roll in the mud after he's been cleaned.
We're also told about "other neighbors" on the farm, the non-domesticated animals that stop by once in a while, from chipmunks to hawks, ants, and field mice.
And much more.
It is so fun to get to know the animals on Maple Hill Farm, but even more, this book encourages us to study, observe, and look for the uniqueness in all animals, no matter where they live.
Scrounged From: A present for our kids
Authors/Illustrators: Alice and Martin Provensen
Content Advisory: None