Tag Archives: Craig Smith

The Windy Farm by Doug MacLeod and Craig Smith

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IMG_1391The Windy Farm by  Doug MacLeod and illustrated by Craig Smith, hardback picture book, published by Working Title Press in 2013.

Living on the windiest farm on Windy Hill is difficult when the wind tries to blow away family members and the pigs. They all have to wear special heavy shoes to avoid being blown right off the hill, but part of their house isn’t so lucky. What will they do with so much wind? Why build a wind-farm of course!

My kids and I really enjoyed The Windy Farm, it was an interesting story with an environmental message. By harnessing the wind, the family was able to produce so much electricity they could sell it and become rich. This book highlights that wind is an infinite resource that we can make use of to fuel our modern lives, as opposed to using oil and coal which will run out in time, just as Uncle Jeff’s well does in the story. This was a nice way to introduce young children to wind power as an alternative energy resource.

I liked both the story and the illustrations. My preschooler loved that the pigs were pictured being blown away by the wind, though Grandpa was just too large for the wind to take him. She has asked me to read this book a number of times, and becomes engrossed in it every time. My second-grader also enjoyed The Windy Farm, taking it away to read on her own. Both kids laughed a lot at the ending! A fantastic book for preschoolers and lower primary school children, it is also a pleasant read for adults, making this book perfect for sharing.

The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith

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IMG_0794The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley, boardbook (and CD), first published in the boardbook format by Scholastic New Zealand Limited in 2013.

This is an hilarious tale of a very interesting donkey. He only has three legs, one eye and he likes country music! And as the story progresses, a new quirk is added to the previous ones, making this a donkey like no other.

The illustrations are just as humorous as the story, and a great asset to the book. The donkey really is a very cheeky fellow, and is drawn as such. The Wonky Donkey is a cumulative story, repeating all of the previous attributes before adding the new one. This repetition is fantastic for preschoolers and lower primary school children alike. Older children and adults will also laugh out loud while reading this book! Both my preschooler and my second grader love it, they think it is side-splittingly funny. My preschooler loves to make the Hee Haw sound when we see the donkey on each page. Both of my kids really like the illustration of the donkey releasing such foul gas that it knocks out a bird (he is a stinky-winky as well as a wonky donkey!) Read it aloud, or follow along with the CD, for even greater enjoyment of this very funny story.