Title: George the Farmer Plants a Wheat Crop
Author: Simone Kain
Classification: Fiction designed to teach
Themes: farming, football
What’s it about?
This is a story about George who is a farmer. It is his job to ready the fields and plant the crop. He knows all about how his wheat can be used in different ways to make a variety of foods.
The illustrations are simple and depict farm life. There is cohesion between the story and the illustrations. It is attempting to introduce science concepts to a young audience.
There is a misplaced apostrophe on the first page of the story…in the first sentence. The book uses outdated stereotypes for the farmer including roles and clothing style. The characters are poor role models for young children (daydreaming, not completing work, taking credit for work not wholly done).
There was a lot of hype about this book in my local area, where the story is loosely based. I really like the concept of using this book to teach students about what food is made from and what it takes to grow it. However, this book fails to deliver. The main character, George briefly (and it is brief) shows what is made from wheat before beginning to plant his crop…only to be completely distracted by thinking about a football match. The seeder doesn’t finish and George heads off…only for his wife to step in and finish the job. At the end it is George who takes the credit. Sorry but as this story received so many “education” endorsements I had a higher expectation and would not use this book with my own children…let alone use it in a classroom.