Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees

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Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: There are problems down on Framer Joe's farm. None of his animals are feeding, the crops aren't growing and the hens aren't laying. Farmer Joe is despairing until he comes up with an idea that brings music to everyone's ears.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2009
Publisher: Orchard
ISBN: 978-1846163418

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I read Farmer Joe and the Music Show with my two daughters who are aged five and three and we all absolutely loved it. It's a sweet appealing story with plenty of humour and a rhythm which will make you want to start tapping your toes as you read.

Farmer Joe has a big problem down on his farm. Nothing is behaving the way it should and that means that the cows aren't grazing, the crops aren't growing, the hens aren't laying and the pigs aren't feeding. He suddenly remembers though that music has the power to cheer and starts plucking on the strings of his old guitar. Before he knows what's happening, the hens start flapping and clucking and are even laying eggs again.

Other farmyard friends come along to join the band including Fox with his fiddle, Rabbit with her concertina and even Bear with his double bass. As each of these start contributing their music everything on the farm starts to work properly again. At the end of the story Farmer Joe is very happy because if things ever go wrong on the farm again he knows what to do – just make music and everyone will be happy!

My daughters really enjoyed this story and loved the fact that the music made all the animals so happy. They also loved the vibrant colourful illustrations that really seem to light up every page. There are too many to describe individually but all Framer Joe's friends have wonderfully expressive faces and we particularly like the picture of Bear, strumming his double bass leisurely with his eyes closed, totally lost in the music. Another picture we love is where all the cows are happily dancing and cartwheeling in the fields. The choice of bright bold colours leap out at you and all these pictures really add to our enjoyment.

What makes this book particularly special though is the wonderful vocabulary and the overall rhythm of the words. It's really hard just to read the words normally as before long you'll find yourself singing them in a way that is similar to a 'good ol' country and western tune'. In fact it's almost impossible to say the words without getting a little bit tongue tied. Adding to the rhythmic feel of the story is the way that the words appear to be actually dancing on the pages just like all the animals in the story.

I love so much of the language used - particularly the words used to describe the sound of the instruments. We discover that the fiddle goes 'pluck-pluck, plick-plick, yiddle-yiddle-yiddle' whereas the double bass goes 'doom-doom-doo' and 'whoom-whoom-whum'. My daughters love making these sounds as we are reading and it almost feels as if we have our own little band in the bedroom.

All of the story is written in rhyme which again adds to the toe tapping feel of every page. Also rhyme is so good for children's early listening skills and both my daughters love being able to join in with these, predicting and supplying the rhyming word for me. Above all this book is fun and that's what reading should be all about. It's a wonderful story with funny pictures and lovely words. What more could a child want in a book?

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this sounds like the sort of book your child would enjoy, they might also want to read Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell.

Buy Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees at Amazon.com.


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