I will admit I spend a lot of time thinking about food and what I want to eat or make. This meant I totally understood Mr. Raccoon wanting to mix up his diet with some better quality food in Anderson Atlas’s book Rascal Farms.
Mr. Raccoon observes his surroundings and eventually comes upon a farm that seems to have an abundance of food. He figures no one will miss the food he takes and brings to his family. Soon more of his wilderness friends are also raiding the farm for food instead of foraging in the forest. While the animals are filling their bellies, the farmer and his family eventually have to sell the farm because they have lost most of their produce and all the chickens are gone, meaning they don’t have money to seed their farm the following year, replace the chickens, or pay for the farm. What are Mr. Raccoon, his family and friends, and the farmer and his family to do?
This was a delightful short picture book with an interesting look at life. Because Mr. Raccoon thought the farmer had an overabundance, he and his friends ate more than what they were giving back. This is a great book to teach kids about resources, not stealing, and those appearances aren’t always what they seem to be.
“Yes, our furry and feathered friends stayed happy and healthy in an honest way because that’s what feels the best. I’m pretty sure that makes humans feel the best, too.”
Mr. Raccoon sees the problems he has caused and chooses to change his ways. It is easy to look for the easy way to solve our problems but sometimes it is important to put in the hard work to get the results you need. I enjoyed the fact that Mr. Raccoon rallied to correct his mistake, help his friends to succeed, and help the farmer and his family get back on their feet.
One of the things I loved was that the text was white on solid colored backgrounds that changed depending on the colors in the pictures. The pictures are beautifully drawn with vibrant colors. They have basic details but aren’t pictures that you would spend hours poring over because there is something new to find. They are perfect for young readers who are learning to comprehend text.