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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 20, 2009
A few years from now, we plan on moving from the city to the country, and so in the interim I am trying to teach my children something of farm life. I bought Our Animal Friends and Maple Hill Farm to read with my 4 year-old son. I was not disappointed in this book.

The water colour illustrations are not the most attractive I've seen--which is why I gave four stars only--but other than that, the book is a delight. The authors go into great detail describing all the different animals on their farm, explaining their individual quirks and personalities. Reading this book, a child will get the idea that animals, like people, are all unique.

My son enjoys reading this book, and to my surprise has already memorized parts of it after only reading it with me a few times. He seems especially fascinated by the page describing the dogs which were accidentally killed or purposely put down for various reasons. I like that the book shows a realistic view of farm life which sometimes includes death. It does not show a romanticized view of friendly animals frolicking together in the green meadow, like you sometimes see in children's books. Those books are nice, too--but I wanted to show my son something of what farm life is really like, and I think this book does this adequately.

I would recommend this book for children aged 4-10 who are interested in farm animals or farm life.
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on February 6, 2002
I still have my original - it's a book near and dear to my heart. The illustrations are rich, varied and colorful while the story is enjoyable and down to earth.
I always found the last few pages to be kind of sad, especially the spot about the lonely secton of the woods where the old dogs are buried. (I still get a little twinge of sadness when I see the illustration!) If you've ever lived on a farm you will relate to the items in the story. While some people may feel some of the items are a little harsh (i.e the "bad dogs" section), DO NOT let that steer you away from picking this book up. It's a wonderful book that has been appreciated by many people for many years and will continue to be appreciated for many years to come.
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on April 7, 2002
This was my absolute favorite book as a young girl. I must have spent thousands of hours just looking over each characteristic of each animal. I used to have the same nightmare over and over as a child. It involved a mean, bad..., billy goat with red eyes. I haven't looked at this book for 5 minuets and 11 years. I just realized where my nightmares came from. It has been a phsycological breakthrough. Sam the Billy Goat. As I went on reading the book, now a full grown adult, there is some questions that raised about the evil characteristics of some of the animals. All I can say is beware...childrens books are powerful...ex: Where the Wild things are...enough rambling...
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I received this book as a gift 20+ years ago, and still have it in relatively good condition (I was not kind to most of my books as a small child). "Our Animal Friends..." is a joy for anyone who has ever lived with animals, even city-dwellers. The authors give distinct personalities to their subjects without making them too human. It is a book about animals. They do not converse with each other and have tea parties; they ruin fences and leave chipmunk heads on the doorstep. They are not portrayed as eternal beings, but as a part of the cycle of temporary residents of their farm. I find this very refreshing as I have for the last two decades.
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on April 12, 2002
This is the most memorable book of my childhood and adult life. I read it countless times as a child, and kept it safe until I was able to share this wonderful creation with my niece, Phylicia, and nephew, Mark. As a child, living in the country, books were all I had, and this one kept me content for hours. In turn, Fee and Mark grew to love it as it covered every animal they had been exposed to in their short lives. It gave them insight into the animal's personalities, how to treat them, how to care for them. They got to imagine having these types of pets of their own, and it made for many creative days for the three of us, reading and learning together.
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on February 7, 2003
I was 3 years or so when my mom starting reading me this book. It's one of the most memorable events of my childhood. Now my book is falling apart but my son, who is almost 4, can say every line with me. It is so charming and funny. Tonight I sat down to try and find a replacement for my old book and was delighted to find it on Amazon. All my friends want it for their children too. I hope Alice and Martin know who much it means to all of us. Thanks and keep it for generations
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on February 7, 2002
I am so happy to see this book back in print. This was a favorite book of mine in childhood, and I am looking forward to sharing it with my children. I have my old copy, but it is worn with love (I used to read it over and over again) and have been looking for another copy so that I can keep one safe for future generations. Judging from the price of the original addition on the used book market, I am not alone in recognizing what a treasure this book is!
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on December 19, 2001
I have an original hardcover copy of this book and have been looking for a new copy for 4 years. I am very happy to see the book back in print, however I would like to see a hardcover edition again. My copy is almost 28 years old and the cover is not in very good condition. I have recommended this story to several friends and they are excited that it is available again. This is a great story of farm life, and very true to the habbits of animals.
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on June 6, 2002
I checked this book out so many times from the school library when I was little, that the librarian asked my parents to buy me a copy so that other kids could have a chance to check it out. The cats , by far, were my favorite part, especially MAX! If you know a child that likes animals, this is the book to get them!! It's fun, has great pictures, great humor, and is just my all around favorite book of my childhood!
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on November 21, 2015
Lovely book with pre school appropriate information on farm animals. My 2 and 3 year old love this one. Beautiful illustrations too.
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