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The US Review of Books

9781466952393_COVER v3.indd

Let’s Go See Mother Wilkerson’s Farm

by Earnest Hooks, Jr.
Trafford Publishing

reviewed by Michael Radon

“Cotton was still in great demand after the American Civil War. The south produced its share for local, out of state, and international use.”

Blending art and history, this book brings children on a tour of farming life in the American South during the early and mid-twentieth century. Using the folk art of painter Lizzie Henderson Wilkerson, young readers are simultaneously taught about the differences between turn-of-the-century rural farm life and modern urban life, while also fostering an appreciation for the arts. Featuring paintings about farm animals, selling vegetables, fishing, and preparing raw materials for sale, the subject material is as much included in the illustrated portions of the book as it is in the written portions. Readers of this book will learn both how farmers make their living and learn the history of Wilkerson as a painter. The book provides multiple lessons at the same time or allows for different material to be learned at different age levels.

By combining a history lesson with a collection of fine art, children will already be building on a rounded education, as opposed to just focusing on one subject at a time. At the same time, there is a message of self-reliance and independent living through farm work that young readers can use to lead productive and enterprising lives. The material is enforced by encouraging children to find and identify small objects as details in the paintings. A glossary at the end of the book helps teach about specific items and farm implements that may not be readily understood. For being educational in multiple ways, both in the hard and soft sciences, this is a great book to share with readers as their minds and perspectives develop.

Kirkus Seeding