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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
Silly Fun on the Farm: 5 Word-by-Word Build-Up Funny Stories by Maria Ellis is written for very beginning readers. There are five stories, each containing 25-30 words and the stories build by introducing words like “pig” and “duck” and then combining the words into a short sentence. Then another word is added, like “truck,” and the next sentence contains all three words. The stories about farm animals are very, very silly and the illustrations of the fully dressed animals standing up like people make the stories even sillier. All the stories are very short, but some of the later stories contain slightly more difficult words, always illustrated with a drawing which reinforces the text.
While reading Silly Fun on the Farm, I smiled on the very first page when I saw the picture of three cows in overalls sitting with their legs sprawled out like kindergartners. Maria Ellis’s color illustrations add tremendously to this short reader. I love that the stories and pictures are silly because when my own son was learning to read, he would always work hard to read a book that made him giggle (the other books, not so much). Most of the words in Silly Fun on the Farm are very short and easy to read words, but I wondered about the inclusion of a couple longer words in such an early reader. However, since almost every word in the book is illustrated, kids will figure it out. I highly recommend Silly Fun on the Farm for kids who are ready for books with only a couple words on a page. Silly Fun on the Farm is cute, it’s entertaining and it’s very accessible.