by V. A. Boeholt
Nathaniel P. Jenson, illustrator
Little Five Star Publishing
Back Cover: Invitations sent? Yep! And the band is ready to play. But who will help Farmer Green and his grandchildren make final preparations or the fall Harvest party? Food, decorations, activities—there’s so much left to do! With Aunt May sick in bed and Grandma Green away judging the State Quilting Contest, how will Farmer Green, Rod, and Chelsea ever get the job done? No worries! Thanks to Burton, Ribbon, and their little farmyard friends, Farmer Green, his grandchildren, and their eager guests are in for a wonderful Harvest Party surprise.
Opening: The Green Farm fall harvest was finished. Once again, Burton the Scarecrow was watching an empty field. Winter was on its way.
About the Story: Every year, at the end of the harvest, farmers have the traditional Harvest Party to celebrate one more year’s harvest completed. Farmer Green is no different except he has little help getting the party ready. His wife is away and Aunt May is sick.
Farmer Green and the two kids, Rod and Chelsea, arrange bales of hay for tables and chairs, then leave to pick up a big cake for the party. While they are gone, Burton and Ribbon, along with their small animal friends, whip up the barn for the best party of the year. They throw lights across the ceiling, put out tables covered with clothes, and arrange other fruit and vegetables to become game equipment, just for the night. The Harvest Party is a smash. Farmer Green is the only one who knows the truth. He repays those who helped in a very unusual way.
What I Thought: Burton’ s Harvest Party has colorful illustrations with large, close-up images of the main characters. The oranges and reds clearly mark the season as Fall. I have not read any Farmer Green/Burton books prior to this one, so I am not familiar with Farmer Green’s wife or Aunt May. I like that Farmer Green decides to have the Harvest Party rather than cancelling at the last moment. The kids try to get involved with the preparations as much as possible.
The star of this book is Burton, the main scarecrow on Farmer Green’s land, and his “love” Ribbon, the female scarecrow. It is clear these two scarecrows are together but that relationship is inferred by the reader—me. When the farmer and his grandchildren leave the farm, the scarecrows and a bunch of little animals go to work making the barn one of the best party places that Fall. Then, happy to have helped Farmer Green, the animals fall back into hiding and watch the festivities.
I like that the story moves along briskly. A mouse enters, having followed Burton’s straw that fell off as Farmer Green carried it to the barn. Burton uses this time to explain to the mouse what Farmer Green wants to do the next day and why the Harvest Party is important. What makes these inanimate objects—Burton and Ribbon—come to life is unknown, at least in this installment of the series.
It appears that Farmer Green has a good idea how the barn was transformed into a party room. At the end of a great night, Farmer Green is very appreciative of the animals work and treats them to a grand and wonderful treat for all their hard work
Burton’s Harvest Party quietly shows selflessness, the importance of friendship cultivating those friendships, and selfless teamwork. In line with these themes, the author and publisher are donating a percentage of sales to the Feed the Children Foundation
Released September, 2013
Age 4 to 8
© 2013 by Little Five Star Publishing used with permission
Text copyright © 2013 by V. A. Boeholt
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Nathaniel P. Jenson
Little Five Star Publishing is an imprint of Five Star Publishing