A Prairie Boy’s Summer
Non-fiction Picture book
Ages 5 to 8
Tundra (Canada), 1975, 0-88776-116-X
William is not sure how he feels about summer. On the one hand he likes it because school is out and he can go swimming with his friends every so often, but on the other hand summer is a very busy time because there is so much work to be done on his parent’s farm
Summer always seems to begin in the same way – with the last day of school and field day. Not being very athletic William is not very good at running or throwing and he doesn’t like team sports much either. William does his best to get through the day by participating in the novelty races.
Very soon William is busy helping is mother and father on the farm. There are cows to be watched and milked, there is grass to be cut, corn to be tended, plowing to be done, grain to be cut, and much more. No sooner is one job done when William is given another. Still there are also those good times like when there is a summer storm and when William is able to go to the swimming hole to spend time with the other boys. He also quite likes taking care of the cows, except when they wander off of course.
This is one of a series of books that William Kurelek wrote about his own experiences living on a Canadian prairie farm. Young readers will discover how much work it takes to run a farm and that in William’s time children were expected to do their fair share of the labor. They will also come to see that, though such a life was often hard, there were always those bright moments when a boy could be happy and content with his lot. Vibrant and unique drawings accompany each vignette giving the reader a wonderful picture of what William saw during his prairie boy summers.
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