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Homegrown: Blueberry Farm #2

By Stephen Michael King

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Stephen Michael King is a much loved and much awarded writer and illustrator whose work includes Koala Ark, Three, Pea Pod Lullaby, The Man Who Loved Boxes, My Dad is a Giraffe and many more. As Les Murray said of him ‘he is not at a loss for words but he realises that a charming and intriguing story can be told without them’. (SMK’s website)
Homegrown, the second in the Blueberry Farm series, has few words and effortlessly creates a charming idealised world where people and animals live and play in harmony. The seasons of the year are shown but the focus is on the growing season. We meet the family, Henna, Ziggs and Moe, and various farmyard animals and see what they do in different seasons before getting down to planting seeds. For many days and nights the family and friends water watch and wait. At first the buds appear, followed by seedlings until finally it is time for harvesting. Harvesting is fun for everyone, particularly as Comet the dog, Bubble Gum the pig, Clover the horse and Misty the donkey all help.
Children will love this visit to a farm, infused with joy throughout and exquisitely brought to life in soft hued watercolour and ink. It may encourage them to start growing something themselves, especially as it may produce something edible. An added inducement to enjoying each page is the search for the ten slippery snails that SMK has hidden (sort of) throughout the book.
Do explore Michael Stephen King’s website. It is full of treasures including free downloadable activities.
Scholastic Australia 2024
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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