With whimsical illustrations and minimal words, "Farm Anatomy" is educational and just plain fun. It's like a picture book for grownups. A really cool picture book for grownups.
And having one in every American home could help us get reconnected to and care about our food is raised...by raising our awareness of farm life.
With this book, illustrator and author Julia Rothman has created a guide to "the curious parts & pieces of country life" perfect for any--and every--coffee table. Her drawings of different chicken breeds, barn styles and farm tools won't prepare anyone for a lifetime of agricultural endeavors. It's unlikely you'll use the buckwheat planting tips or the plowing pattern advice.
But spend some time flipping through thse pages and you will get a sense of what it takes to farm--the old-fashioned, sustainable way, I mean. In many ways, an hour with "Farm Anatomy" is as good as eight hours at a real-life farm. You'll miss out on the smells and sounds, but you'll get a grounded reminder that our food still comes from soil, animals, hard work and people--the people who nurthre the soil and care for the animals and put in the long, hard days.
It will be a hit with kids too. I can easily picture this book in a classroom, intriguging children with the delightful drawings and straightforward descriptions of a life they'll probably never experience but one they literally can't live without.
I can easily envision adults intrigued too, by the facts and figures as well as the pictures, drawn in by old-fashioned recipes, ways of doing or maybe the trival about the quantity of water each type of livestock consumes each day. Even though the book is illustrated, it still brings home the point that farming is real, that our food doesn't just appear on grocery store shelves after all.
Whatever you end up getting out of "Farm Anatomy" matters little in detail. The best takeaway is the connection to food and farming I think this book can inspire, even in the most urbanite of households.
After all, a city slicker needs to eat as much as anyone else does. Is it too much to ask for that city slicker to know what bacon looks like when still a pig?
Definitely check out "Farm Anatomy." You'll see more glimpses of the illustrations here: http://www.book-by-its-cover.com/design/introducing-farm-anatomy.