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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmer's Market. Written by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Amy Huntington. Charlesbridge, Random House. 2017. $19.99 ages 5 and up

"We'll buy a pint;
we'll buy a quart;
we'll buy them by the case.

To make some jam
and bake a pie
with crust of lattice lace.

They won't last long;
they'll soon be gone;
that's why we need to race."

If you love gooseberries, you will understand why this family is on a wild-goose chase to get some! They know the berries won't be there for long, and they are eager to benefit from the bounty to be found at a stand in the farmer's market. Of course, that is not the only thing they will find as they peruse the transformed parking lot housing the market this fine day. Farmers have worked hard to prepare their fresh-picked produce, their baked goods, their eggs, their lemonade, their sharpening skills, their honey - all for this day's sale.

"Early  Risers

While you sleep
snuggled tight,
farmers toll
by silver light.
Harvest, sort,
wash, and load.
Hop in trucks.
Hit the road.
Just as dawn
pinks the sky,
they arrive,
stretch and sigh.
Set up tables,
tents, and bins.
By the time
your day begins,
the farmer's day
is in full-swing -
enjoy the bounty
that they bring."

From the beginning of the day until the end, buyers arrive to purchase the wares. Is there no end to what a person might find during a visit?

Amy Huntington uses watercolors, graphite, ink and Photoshop to create her appealing and telling look at the warm and friendly market. We follow a boy and his dog, a girl and her dog as they enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes and explore the many booths with interest. It is a celebration in rhyme for the wonders of such a special place.  Always energetic and most enjoyable to share, this book only makes me long for summer and the riches that come to us from our farmers and growers.

Come on, sunshine and warm spring and summer breezes!

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