BARN AT NIGHT
By: Michelle Houts
Illustrated by: Jen Betton
Published: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Feeding Minds Press
Feeding Minds Press is a project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. Their goal is to publish books about agriculture so readers can learn where their food comes from and who grows it. They have published several books and you can check them out, HERE.
From sun up to sundown, life on the farm is busy. A young girl her dad go out to the farm in the early morning light to feed all the animals. It’s winter and when the doors are opened the cold air rushes in. From the cows to the cats to the baby calves to the horse, everyone is greeted and fed.
At the end of the day, something special is happening in the barn and the girl doesn’t want to miss it. Everyone in the barn seems to know what is coming as a new addition to the farm family arrives. The barn is a special place at night.
The author uses a rhyming scheme of AABCCB which can be hard to do well and keep the story flowing and Houts writes beautifully. When read aloud it offers a rhythmic song to the story. The watercolor illustrations are quite lovely and soothing for a bedtime read. There is a lot of detail on the pages including the cute kittens, the gator, and bales of hay in the barn. No detail of a barn is missed.
The rhythm and routine of a farm play well with the routine of bedtime. Take your child along to do chores and then tuck them into bed reminding them that all the other animals are sleeping as well. BARN AT NIGHT makes a great addition to your bedtime reading routine.
Michelle Houts is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers. Her debut novel, The Beef Princess of Practical County, has been featured by the American Farm Bureau Foundation and won a Best Book of the Year from Nebraska Farm Bureau. Houts writes from a restored one-room schoolhouse in Ohio. Find out more on her website, HERE.
Jen Betton grew up playing on friends’ farms in Pennsylvania. Illustrating Barn at Night gave her a delightful excuse to lurk around old barns and feed goats. Her other books include Hedgehog Needs a Hug (winner of Pennsylvania’s Keystone to Reading Award), which she both wrote and illustrated, and Twilight Chant, written by Holly Thompson. She now lives with her family near Dallas, Texas. You can see more of her work, HERE.