Farm Country Tales Series Reviews
A Farm Country Tales Series
- General Reviews of the Series
Vonda Kelly, President and Executive Director, Bloomington Historical Society
the Bloomington Historical Society has ten of your books and we are looking forward to the next! Your books have contributed extensively to the preservation of the history of farming and life on the farm. It is so vital to make certain that the history of farm life is preserved, especially for those of us who have farm experience. On behalf of the Bloomington Historical Society, we applaud your commitment to telling this important story.
Loni Niles, Media Specialist, Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School
My students are always asking for farm books in the media center. It's wonderful to have Gordon Fredrickson's books in our collection so I have [created] an area to bring them to. They love his books! Kids love the topic of farming and they like that the characters are kids just like themselves.
Reviewed by Jeri L. Dobrowski in Cowboy Jam Session: Western Culture News & Reviews
For the little farmers in your life, consider the Farm Country Tales series by Gordon W. Fredrickson. These beautiful, full-color hardback books are built to last, which is exactly what Fredrickson had in mind. His goal is to create keepsake books that accurately reflect what it was like growing up on a small farm. These books would jump-start reminiscing among retired farmers and "senior" farm kids, so don't limit potential recipients just to youngsters.
Roger Byom, organic dairy farmer on the farm that has been in his family for 120 years, Ettrick, Wisconsin
Thank you for telling the farming story to so many people.
Mona Lee (Barnett) Schemmel, who grew up on what is now a Century Farm near Cantril, Iowa
You do an outstanding job writing. Our grandchildren call your books "educational farm books." We look forward to reading your new book.
Allen Aldinger, who farmed the same land as his parents, on which he now helps his son farm in Winona County, Minnesota
Good to hear from you and to know you are publishing another book. We have your book, A Farm Country Christmas Eve, and enjoyed the illustrations and writings very much.
Glee Hubbard, who grew up on a 160-acre farm and began her teaching career in a one-room country school in Vernon County, Wisconsin
I so admire the great works you are developing in regard to farm life.
A Farm Country Tales Series
- Reviews of Individual Titles
A Farm Country Silo Filling
Reviewed by Mary Ann Grossmann, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Who knew silos could fill a whole book? Not city folks, that's for sure. But the husband-wife Fredricksons knew because they owned and ran a 160-acre farm in western Minnesota. In the sixth in their Farm Country Tales series, the couple introduce those who don't know a silo from a sleigh to real farm activities during the corn harvest. The book's centerpiece is short fiction about a farm family who invest in their own silage cutter so they can fill their silo without help.
The book includes 90 photos of silos before and after 1950, growing corn before and after 1950, with more than 180 photos of corn harvest activities in the 19th and 20th centuries, and more than 150 photos and personal stories about people and organizations that work to preserve the craft of corn harvesting and silo filling.
Reviewed by Janet Kubat Willette, Agri-News
Beacons in the countryside
The silo towered above the farm of Gordon Fredrickson's youth, serving as an ever-present reminder of its importance in the survival of his family.
"With only 65 acres tillable on our 120-acre farm, growing corn for silage offered the most efficient use of our rocky acres. Growing enough corn to fill our 14-foot-diameter by 50-foot-high silo was always a priority," Fredrickson writes in his latest book, "A Farm Country Silo Filling."
For him, the silo was a symbol of what they needed to do all year: Plant, cultivate and harvest corn to fill the silo to carry their dairy herd through winter and provide a living to their family.
Reviewed by Ryan Johnson, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
Few writing genres are as hot as memoirs, and the latest new releases from local authors include plenty of personal accounts of past milestones or more recent hardships.
"A Farm Country Silo Filling," by Gordon W. and Nancy A. Fredrickson and illustrated by Robert Williams, brings readers back to the farm life in 1950. Photographic essays complement the story and illustrations that examine the history of the silo, past growing and harvesting methods and stories of modern-day enthusiasts.
A Farm Country Harvest
Reviewed by Carolyn Van Loh, writer for The Land and farm wife, Westbrook, Minnesota
Gordon Fredrickson has put together a book that is sure to be treasured by anyone who remembers when harvesting was done with threshing machines. A Farm Country Harvest is a three-part book that will attract the attention of all ages...Readers will find a wealth of information about people and the machines responsible for reaping the harvests in another era.
Reviewed by Ron Lund, retired farmer and custom harvester, current threshing machine restoration enthusiast, Franklin, Minnesota
The 1950s fictional story is perfect. I loved it. I laughed as I read it and remembered doing those things during threshing as a boy.
Reviewed by Ron Larson, retired steam plant operator and current old-iron enthusiast, Lakeville, Minnesota
You are a good storyteller.
Dwain and Marilyn Gerken, retired farmers and founders of the Corn Shredding Autumn Harvest Days
We truly enjoy your book, A Farm Country Harvest. Thanks for preserving the past for young and old.
A Farm Country Thanksgiving
Reviewed by Midwest Book Review, Holiday Shelf
A Farm Country Thanksgiving is an enjoyable picturebook about a family's Thanksgiving celebration. As delicious smells for the anticipated noontime meal drift from the kitchen, the family's children must tend to their chores. When guests arrive early, the kids make new friends and take joy in sledding down snowy hills. Soft, gentle color illustrations add a heartwarming touch to this exuberant celebration of family togetherness and holiday good will.
Reviewed by Madeline (age 9) and Sophia (age 7) McElroy for Reader Views
Madeline: Another great story by Gordon W. Fredrickson! I have read several of his books and this is one of my new favorites. The books in the Farm Country series are about farm life from a child’s point of view. The story is written using rhyming words; I think it’s very creative. This style of writing is fun to read.
My favorite part of this Thanksgiving Day story is when Joey put his tongue on the side of the frozen water pump and it stuck like glue! This is also one of my favorite pictures! I think all of the artwork in the book is very good.
This story shows how much work there is to do on a farm. They were having family over for dinner, but before they arrived they had to clean the barn, stack hay, shovel snow, milk cows and much more! I think that young children to teens and their parents would enjoy this book and other books by Gordon W. Fredrickson.
Sophia: I think it would be fun to have Thanksgiving on a farm just like they did in this book! But, they had a lot of work to do on the farm before they could have fun. The worst thing would be cleaning up the cow poo — gross!
I really like the illustrations, they are really pretty. My favorite picture is of the family making Thanksgiving dinner, it reminds me of my family cooking together. My favorite part of the story is when everyone sits down for dinner; this reminds me of going to our friend’s house for Thanksgiving last year. I also liked that the family was praying before they ate dinner.
I have read many of Fredrickson’s books before, they are amazing! You will learn a lot about living on a farm from these books. My favorite book is “Farm Country Christmas.” The author uses rhyming in all his books, I think it makes reading the stories more fun!
Madeline and Sophia: “A Farm Country Thanksgiving” Gordon W. Fredrickson is a fun read.
A Farm Country Picnic
Jeanne Braun, teacher at Crown of Life Lutheran School, West St. Paul, Minnesota
I received your book, A Farm Country Picnic. I loved it. All the books are fun to read and share with my students. They are fun as I remember my own days on the farm.
A Farm Country Christmas Eve
Recommended for ages 6 and up
Peggy Madden, former farm kid.
I loved your Christmas story, A Farm Country Christmas Eve. It made me cry.
Sophia McElroy (age 5.5) for Readers View
"I like A Farm Country Christmas Eve because it is about farm animals and Santa. My favorite part of this book is when the Mom is milking the cow and she squirts some milk into the pet cat's mouth. It was so funny!"
By Midwest Book Review (5.0 out of 5 stars)
A Farm Country Christmas is a charming children's and adults' Christmas story based on the author's memory of his childhood on a farm near New Prague, Minnesota, in eastern Scott County. The story starts on Christmas eve in 1950 with a hardworking farm family of five; Mags, Joe, Gordon, and Mother and Father. The farm family must complete all their usual milking and barn chores first so Santa can visit the farmhouse and leave their presents unseen. To help Santa in his job, the father will open the grain bin to give some grain to Santa's hungry reindeer. The children have special tasks to do to help with the barn chores and even younger brother Joe is taught to entice a new calf to drink milk from a bucket by using his two fingers dipped in milk for the calf to suck on. Barn cats are given stray squirts of fresh milk and the whole family celebrates the gift of a new Christmas calf they name Pearl. The value of each member of the family helping with the chores to the best of their ability is carefully underlined.
The tale is told in quaint rhyming couplets and colorful nostalgic but realistic illustrations bring the farm scenes and memories to life. At the end of the evening's chores, a wonderful surprise awaits the children in the house. Before they can go to the living room, the children carefully wash up with soap and water in the comfortable old kitchen with a one basin sink and white footed wood stove. Wondrous gifts of a new sled, tractor, and dolly with fine yellow hair have already been glimpsed under the tree, but the final confirming detail for Gordon is the kernels of oats left on the sled. His father explains, "If you listen, I'll tell you; what happened right here./ First Santa fed oats to eight hungry reindeer./ Then he left the doors open to run to his sleigh,/ And the reindeer and Santa all hurried away (p. 25)."
A Farm Country Christmas Eve is a lovely children's book that will touch and turn the memories of many adults who read it and also share those memories. Added realistic details include a map of the farm family area plus a diagram of the family farm homestead layout. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
H. W. Stoltenberg, Stanley, New Mexico.
The book accurately depicts what farm life was like for me and my sisters and brother growing up on our dairy farm near Rochester, Minnesota, in the 1930's, from the hungry cats to using the fingers to teach the calves to put their noses down into the milk pail…I gave the book to my 3-year-old granddaughter…She enjoyed the book.
Marge Salz, Stacyville, Iowa.
I used your A Farm Country Christmas Eve on Saturday, December 22, 2008 with all of my 15 grandchildren present. ...None of the kids know farm life but their parents do. When reading about the kitties coming from everywhere, I even got the adults' attention. A Farm Country Christmas Eve will be read every Christmas now. Thanks for putting in writing what a farmer used to do.
What Children are Saying:
"I really liked the book, I love it. This is a great story about a family on a farm. ...My favorite part is that I think the illustrations are really good." ~ Madeline McElroy (age 7.5) for Reader Views.
What Farmers, Parents, and Grandparents are Saying:
"...I love this type of book. I can relate with everything in the book and it brought back many memories of my childhood and young adulthood…. Christmas for us was about how you described it in your book. ...I read this book to my 9-year-old neighbor girl and she could not believe that was how things were when I grew up." ~ Eleanore Popp, Hayfield, Minnesota.
"Loved your book. I also grew up on a small dairy farm. I come from a family of 10 brothers and sisters. So much of your story brings back memories of home…I'd be interested in any more books you publish…Keep up the beautiful stories and if you can let me know of any more." ~ Denise Jacobs, Plainview, Minnesota.
What Teachers Are Saying:
"The book A Farm Country Christmas Eve captures a moment in time and brings it to life for kids young and old to enjoy. Gordon Fredrickson's stories help teach social studies skills on what family and community life was like in the past." ~ Cassandra Erickson, third grade teacher, Otsego, Minnesota.
"We really like the rhyming pattern that matches 'Twas the Night before Chrismas. It makes it easy and fun to read. ...Children today will get a real sense of time gone by. The illustrations give life to the time period with dramatic colors." ~ Mary Baker, Colleen Curan, Ashlee Mashek, Lori Reinschmidt,third grade teachers, St. Michael, Minnesota.
"After experiencing several of Gordon Fredrickson's presentations to elementary age students, I found each presentation mesmerizing. Children listened attentively and asked pertinent questions. They seemed to tune in on the closeness and magic of family life on a small farm in 1950. ...the message that a family works and plays together on family farm in order to succeed is extremely powerful." ~ Diana Sawdey, elementary school teacher, retired,Otsego, Minnesota.
"Gordon Fredrickson...is a gifted storyteller/teacher that students will remember for years to come. His attention to detail in verse and illustrations make the book an educational journey for the young and a nostalgic look back for adults. A Farm Country Christmas Eve will become a holiday favorite." ~ Nancy Terhark, retired teacher, Park Rapids, Minnesota