FARM COUNTRY TALES SERIES, includes fiction and non-fiction
Each book in the Farm Country Tales series tells a story in an entertaining narrative rhyme and features original and colorful illustrations that accurately portray small town and rural life and farm equipment and activities of the times. Stories are based on actual events and offer children and adults of all ages the opportunity to read and enjoy stories that evoke memories for some and serve to inform others of the times in which their parents or grandparents or great grandparents were children. Stories feature the Carlson family members and their interactions with the farm neighborhood and the surrounding small towns during routine and special events. These stories entertain children and adults, alike. Four of the seven titles in the Farm Country Tales series are fiction, have 32 pages each, and contain an illustrated story, but the three most recent titles, A Farm Country Harvest (184 pages) and A Farm Country Silo Filling (312 pages), and A Farm Country Haying (348 pages) are comprised mostly of non-fiction photo essays which detail the history of threshing, silo filling, and haying, respectively, with hundreds of photographs. A Farm County Haying is especially unique because in addition to sections containing history, a story, current celebrations, and current methods, we have included a large section of haying stories and photos written and submitted by over 100 farmers, former farmers, and former farm kids. I hope both the fiction and non-fiction books help to preserve our farm heritage by encouraging everyone to tell their storied. My mantra is “A story NOT told is lost forever."
IF I WERE A FARMER SERIES
Each story in the If I Were A Farmer series features a contemporary child with a pet. The child imagines himself or herself as a farmer having an adventure in which he or she is the hero. Each page contains the child’s narration, enhanced by a full-page, colored illustration that clearly displays the action of the adventure and also places both the child and the pet into the action. The prose is aimed at pre-school or K-3, but some farm terminology may need to be explained by an adult.
OTHER FARM HERITAGE BOOKS
Although I plan to write many other books, including novels for adults and teens, presently I have just three books that are not in either of the two series described above.
Farm Country Moments: Poems, Pictures, and Memories is the first collection of my farm heritage poems to be published, and it includes twenty-nine poems followed by author's comments and forty photographs taken by my wife, Nancy. The farm poems, pictures and comments aim to educate and entertain readers of all ages. Youth will learn about the memorable moments that belonged to previous generations in a way that is relevant to their lives, and older generations will be inspired to remember long-forgotten stories of their youth. I intend to publish another book of my poetry in 2018.
What I Saw on the Farm is not part of a series, nor is it inspired by actual events. Unlike the characters in my two series, the characters in What I Saw on the Farm are not limited by the reality of farm life. When these modern-day children return to school from a field trip to the farm, the principal asks them, "What did you see on the farm, children."
Instead of describing what they actually saw on the farm, the kids answer with their imaginations: dogs dance, chickens practice law, and cats play baseball in a colorful farmyard romp.
Each imaginative illustration is accompanied by an actual photograph of the animal as the children would have seen it on the farm. The link to reality is there, but the imagination is foremost.
Raising Little Duck is my most recent book that is not in a series., and it is my first book that is totally biographical, where I use my name for the character in the book. The book depicts as accurately as I can remember my experience raising a duckling that was born with a life-threatening physical defect—his upper bill was curled up and prevented him from eating normally.
What Colors Are Tractors? We created What Colors Are Tractors? specifically as an entertaining and educational book for very young children. Many parents who purchased our other books for children have reported success with reading the books to very young children, even though the book was at first beyond the child’s understanding. The child grew and learned to love the story. However, during our 19 years of writing stories and doing programs for children, we have talked to a number of parents pushing a toddler in a carriage or joyfully expecting their first child, who have asked specifically for a book without a plot that can be enjoyed at the most basic level of listening to words and associating them with artwork. We believe What Colors Are Tractors? is such a book. Now, when a young couple comes by our booth carrying a child or they proudly proclaim they are expecting, we can say, “We have the perfect book for you!”
For children my stories are adventures about farm kids as told by farm kids; and for adults the stories are a nostalgic trip back to life the way it was, with all its hard work, imperfections, challenges and fun.