Barnyard Gossip

Barnyard Buddies, Volume 2

Children - Animals
92 Pages
Reviewed on 01/21/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Barnyard Gossip is Volume 2 of Donna Lea Taylor's children's animal series, Barnyard Buddies. Things were going pretty smoothly at McDoogle's farm until Cleo the Cat started gossiping. Cleo enjoyed a bit of gossip here and there, and because she talked about the other animals living on the farm, she was always suspicious that others were talking about her as well. One day, she noticed that White Bear, the Great Pyrenees dog who had been a stray before he befriended Jake the horse, was talking with Sissy the sheep. When Cleo approached, they both looked guilty and grew quiet. This kept on happening every time Cleo saw White Bear talking to another animal. She figured he was spreading gossip about her, and she decided to pay him back. Someone had been stealing eggs from the hen house, so Cleo started spreading a rumor that White Bear was the egg thief.

Donna Lea Taylor's children's story, Barnyard Gossip, is the second of the Barnyard Buddies series, and it's marvelous. I really enjoyed Barnyard Bully, the first book, and was excited to see that the second volume was available. The Three Amigos - Jake, Ollie the owl with the English accent, and White Bear - seem like old friends, and I quickly got involved in the plot. Taylor's stories illustrate just how entertaining and educational a well-written fable can be. There's a real crisis when White Bear is ordered to leave the farm and a beautifully orchestrated resolution as the animals band together to find the real egg-snatcher and prove White Bear's innocence. The Barnyard Buddies are for children of all ages, including those fortunate adults who get to read them aloud with their children. Barnyard Gossip is most highly recommended.

Janelle Alex, Ph.D.

Donna Lea Taylor has created a gem with Barnyard Gossip (Barnyard Buddies). This wonderful chapter book is an easy read for elementary age children. The plot focuses on gossiping or starting rumors. The consequences of such behavior are clearly displayed within the storyline as well as how others handle such inappropriate behavior from the culprit. Taylor creates an opportunity to begin a powerful discussion with your youngsters - whether your students or your children - about the potential repercussions of their behaviors. Yet, it is a cute and interesting story at the same time. As the reader, you feel a connection to White Bear and want to help him, too.

Barnyard Gossip is a book that parents can simply enjoy with their children while home school parents and teachers can use it to spark creative writing projects. No matter how you look at it, Donna Lea Taylor gives parents and children a fun way to discuss very important behaviors and events that we face in our daily lives. Even more, I really enjoyed how Taylor added a drawing and a unique tidbit at the end of each chapter. For example, she shared where the word "mouse" came from and its original meaning. Fascinating! This can lead even further discussion or be used as spelling and vocabulary words. What a fun way to study and be entertained at the same time.

Michelle Stanley

Word to the wise, he who gossips usually falls victim to the very same thing. Barnyard Gossip (Barnyard Buddies, Volume 2) is written by Donna Taylor. Cleo the Cat who lives on Farmer McDoggle’s farm has a reputation for gossiping and spreading rumours about other animals. When the hens’ eggs are egg-napped, she tells Gwen Hen and Sissy the Sheep that White Bear, the new dog, is the culprit. Farmer McDoggle bans White Bear from the farm, which makes him sad, while the other animals are upset with mischief making Cleo. White Bear stays in the woods and becomes friends with cunning Wiley Fox and other creatures who reside there. The farm animals investigate the egg-napping and organize a trap to catch the real thief.

There is never a dull moment on Farmer McDoggle’s farm. Barnyard Gossip (Barnyard Buddies, Volume 2) is a fun animal story by Donna Taylor. She has created an amazing set of animal characters who are adorable, hardworking and caring. They display spunky attitudes similar to those in the animated movie Barnyard. The story is creative and contains a good moral about the damaging effects of gossip. One of the high points of the story is the natural flowing dialogue of the animals, as Donna Taylor writes very cleverly and wittily. A few of the scenes take place in the woods, and I think these were great, but so is the rest of the book. Children will be entertained while they read Barnyard Gossip.