Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Lisl H. Detlefsen ; illustrated by Jed Henry

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62672-098-5
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Sam shares the autumn activities on his family's farm—harvest time on a cranberry bog.

He's excited because he's finally old enough to help. Sam outlines every detail, from the big waders he and his parents wear to the equipment they use, such as the picking machine, the boom, suction pump, and cleaner. He uses lively descriptions and sound words to convey his enthusiasm: their waders “shlip and shlerp,” berries “hop and pop,” and when Sam falls in, they start a water-and-cranberry fight: “splish and splash.” Sam is wet through. Dad cheerfully says, "I always say you're not a cranberry grower until you fall in." This is a family pulling together literally and figuratively, and they enjoy both their work and the fruits of their labor. Even after their crop has been delivered, Sam wakes up on Thanksgiving morning to the delicious aroma of a fresh-baked cranberry pie (recipe included). The fun, the work, and the satisfaction are captured in watercolor-and-pencil illustrations infused with warm golds, browns, and reds to reflect the season and balance the cool blues of water and sky.

The author, who lives on a marsh, calls this a love letter to the cranberry-growing community, but it is also an enlightening, joyful celebration of a little-explored agricultural endeavor.

(author's note, glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)