Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Welcome to Silver Street Farm

Welcome to Silver Street Farm

Nicola Davies
Illustrator:  Katharine McEwan 
For ages 7 to 9
Candlewick Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-0763658311

On their first day in kindergarten Gemma, Meera, and Karl become friends and on that day they decide that one day, when they are older, they are going to have a city farm full of farm animals. From that day on the three children do everything they can to learn about farm life. They go on “every school trip and family outing” to “real farms to see and learn about real animals.”

   Nothing much comes of their plans until Meera finds out that there is an old railway station by the canal that has been lying unused for years. It might be the perfect place to set up a city farm. When they get there they find out that though station looks sad and neglected, it is essentially sound and would certainly make an excellent farm.

   When Karl gets to his aunt’s apartment later that day he immediately realizes that something is amiss. He aunt, who has always wanted a pair of white poodles, saw an advertisement for poodle puppies. Since the price was affordable she purchased the puppies and brought them home. Karl, who knows a lot more about animals than his aunt does, quickly figures out that the so-called poodle puppies are actually lambs. Auntie Nat is willing to keep the lambs in her apartment for a while but since they cannot be housetrained, alternative arrangements for them need to be made.

   While Karl is dealing with the problem of feeding lambs, Gemma is sweeping out the waiting room at the vet’s office. The vet asks Gemma to take care of some duck eggs that he is convinced are “rotten,” but for some reason Gemma cannot make herself throw the eggs away. Instead, she takes them home and in the middle of the night they hatch. Gemma is suddenly and unexpectedly the mother of five fluffy ducklings.

   Without even trying to the three children have acquired some animals and now they need a place to house them. They decide that their best option is to get some publicity for their cause. They manage to get a TV station to interview them and in no time at all they have support from countless people. Unfortunately they do not have the support of the City Council whose members have no intention of allowing the children to turn the old train station into a city farm.

   In this uplifting and heartwarming story young readers will meet three children who have a dream and who refuse to give up on it when the going gets tough. With delightful touches of humor and colorful characters, this is a book that shows children that they have the power to bring about change.