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Review: The Sun is Late and So Is the Farmer Gives Beautiful Illustrations and a Simple Story

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The Sun is Late and So Is the Farmer by Phillip C. Stead tells a short story of a group of farm animals who are lounging in their barn.  They realize that the sun is late to rise and on the advice of the barn owl, the animals slowly make their way across the farm, past the sleeping monster (a piece of farm equipment), and to the end of the world (the farmhouse where the Farmer sleeps.)

sun is late farmer book cover with horse, cow and rooster leaning on a fence

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Because both the sun and the Farmer are late the animals begin to worry. They decide to work together and come up with a plan to investigate.  Each animal becomes braver as the book progresses, carefully moving quietly across the farm to discover why the sun is so late to rise. The story is a bit repetitive but purposely so, adding some slight changes as more animals gather to discuss the peculiar situation.

The Sun is Late and So Is the Farmer is filled with beautiful watercolor-like illustrations.  The use of blues and yellows illustrates the animals on their short journey across their farm.  Erin E. Stead’s illustrations have subtle details, like different shades of yellow and gold to distinguish different leaves.  There also are slight changes in the blue background which signifies the sun slowly rising as the animals gather to discuss the strange occurrence.  The end of the book shows some muted yellow illustrations as the sun rises which signifies hope and comfort to the animals.

Simple prose and pretty illustrations make The Sun is Late and So Is the Farmer a thoughtful story for children who love animals.

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