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Punk Farm

Last updated Monday, August 4, 2008

Author: Jarrett Krosoczka
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0375824294
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2008

Synopsis: From Amazon.com:

After Farmer Joe heads to bed, Cow, Goat, Pig, Sheep, and Chicken pull out their instruments and electronic equipment, don their shades, and transform themselves into the rock band Punk Farm. Animals line up outside the barn to buy tickets, then settle in for a rousing show featuring a way-out version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," with each musician doing a solo. At sunrise, a none-the-wiser Farmer Joe finds his sound-asleep livestock not quite ready for "a big day of work." Single- and double-page cartoon-style paintings combine muddy and bold colors to contrast the earthy farm setting with the energy, edginess, and excitement of the concert. Print, mostly white drop-out, is used effectively, juxtaposing traditional block style for the narrative with a larger, more graphic layout of the same typeface to suggest the distinctive musical sound. The eye-popping orange and purple front cover sets the scene and contrasts with the muted blues, browns, and greens of the back cover depicting the fabulous five in the barnyard, post-event. The fun is carried onto the endpapers, which feature a montage of posters, torn tickets, publicity "photos" of the band, and scrawled notebook pages. Quite a romp.

Note to readers:
•  This book has not yet been made into a movie, however Dreamworks is in the process of producing the film, due out in 2009. While reading, imitate the instrument that the animal is playing. You could possibly assign each child to an animal and they can stand and do an "air" solo when their animal is playing.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What are the instruments?
•  Look at the cover of the book. What animals do you see? What are they doing?
•  What is the object on the title page? (a record) Has anyone ever seen a record? How about a tape? A CD? An Ipod?
•  Have you ever been to a farm or somewhere similar with animals? What kinds of animals did you see?
•  Do you know what punk is?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What instruments do the different animals play?
•  Do you know how to play an instrument? Do you know anyone who plays an instrument in a band?
•  Why do you think chicken is nervous to perform?
•  Do you know the song that the animals are singing? Can you sing along?
•  Why are the animals so tired in the morning when Farmer is ready to work?
•  What do you think farm animals do at night?
•  Do you have a pet? What instrument do you think your pet would play at night? If you don't have a pet, what is your favorite animal?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a barn out of construction paper. Cut out animals and instruments and have the kids match the correct instrument with the correct animal and glue them in the barn.
•  Fold a piece of paper in half. On one side, draw what the animals are like with Farmer during the day. On the other side, draw the animals at night performing their rock show.
•  Make an animal mask.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!