The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Hardscrabble Harvest Review by Cindy West

By Dahlob Ipcar
Islandport Press
PO Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

I had to laugh upon my first reading of this fun picture book. It's about the struggles a farmer goes through over the course of the entire planting season in order to bring in a full harvest by autumn. And all these struggles have proven true in our humble attempt to grow a garden!

Crows in the pea patch, rabbits in the lettuce, raccoons in the cornfield, and frost nipping at the tomatoes--Ms. Ipcar has written a delightfully true rhyming book for children ages 3-8. More importantly, she has portrayed the diligence on the part of farmers to take care of their gardens and animals so that harvest time doesn't go by without reward.

A simple color scheme of reds, blacks, and greens keeps the illustrations subdued yet interesting. In fact, the use of various tints and shades of these three colors would make an excellent art lesson to supplement the book!

The story culminates with the family's Thanksgiving dinner, which makes this a great addition to your holiday reading. However, reading it at the beginning of gardening season might spur your children to work harder in their daily gardening chores, too.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2010