Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eyewitness: Farm

Eyewitness: Farm

Ned Haley
Illustrator:  Geoff Brightling 
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
DK, 2000   ISBN: 978-0789460400

Ten thousand years ago communities living in Turkey and the Middle East began to farm for the first time. The people in these areas discovered that they could eat the seeds of certain edible grasses and they could use some of the seeds to plant a new crop the following year. Over time, they also learned to tame sheep, chickens, goats, and cattle that were once wild. The animals could provide the farmers with eggs, meat, skins, and milk. This transition towards a more sedentary way of life had an enormous impact on people because it allowed them to begin the process of building towns, cities, and civilizations.

This wonderful Eyewitness title explores many aspects of farming life. Readers will learn about the animals that farmers used to work the land in the past and the machines that took the place of these animals. There are chapters about how farming practices changed over time, and there are also sections about the crops farmers grow, the animals they raise, and how these animals are cared for. A final section wraps up this farm story with a discussion about how people might farm in the future.

Every page in this book has an interesting text that is wonderfully complimented by heavily annotated photographs and illustrations. Readers will find that they will learn an enormous amount about farming and farm life without them even realizing it.