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Book Review: Peanut of Blind Faith Farm

September 27, 2017

 

Book Review:  Peanut of Blind Faith Farm

 

The Little Lamb Who Inspired Blind Faith Farm Now Inspires Readers

 

Review by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

 

 

Peanut of Blind Faith Farm  (Little Creek Press, 2017)

written by Jim Thompson

illustrated by Rebecca Gavney Driscoll

 

With all that has been happening in the world in recent months, are you ready to read a heart-warming, sweet, and uplifting story of a little lamb?  Peanut of Blind Faith Farm will be the book of the season to brighten your day.

 

Wisconsinite Jim Thompson tenderly shares the story of how Peanut, a little lamb who was born blind, meets and overcomes the challenges of her life on the hobby farm of Jim and his wife Laura.  Through the twenty-seven pages of this remarkable story, readers learn how Jim and Laura, as well as Peanut’s mother–Sweetie Pie–helped the little lamb to lie down to sleep, find buckets of water, interact with a selected flock, come when called (for an apple), and even run with the lambs of the next spring.  From her first day of life, Peanut keenly used her sense of hearing and touch:  as the story progresses over three years, we realize what an intelligent sheep Peanut is.

 

The author’s description of the wool of two-year-old Peanut as “the color of vanilla ice cream” will appeal to the imagination of a child.  While children of ages four to eight will happily snuggle up to this book, readers in the nine- to twelve-year-old range will garner an even greater appreciation and understanding of the challenges that Peanut surmounts.  Moreover, this memorable book is for animal lovers of all ages and any hobby-farmer-want-to-be.

 

After the precious ending of the story, the 28th page contains “More about Sheep,” which will thoroughly prepare you for a “Sheep” category on my favorite television program Jeopardy.  For example, did you know that of all the farm or ranch animals in the world, the number of sheep is the highest?

 

The warm, soft, and delicate illustrations throughout the entire hardcover book (approximately nine by ten inches) are by Wisconsinite Rebecca Gavney Driscoll.  Her favorite medium of water color enhances this marvelous story.  Besides the expressive lamb and Shetland sheep, Rebecca captures farm scenes with birds, mice, bees, a rabbit, and a dog.  (NOTE:  All of the beautiful illustrations were described to me in detail by my sister Mary Elizabeth Fanyo, who started teaching at the elementary-school level in 1969 and is now enjoying her sixteenth year of teaching prekindergarten.  Mary is also a past president of the Colorado Council International Reading Association.)

 

Peanut of Blind Faith Farm is Jim Thompson’s first children’s book.  After serving in the United States Air Force, Jim earned a degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  In 2007, he semi-retired after twenty years with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  To read more about Jim, Laura, Peanut, and their hobby farm, please visit their website where you can also order Jim’s book:

 

http://www.blindfaithfarm.com

 

In addition to being able to purchase the book from the publisher–Little Creek Press of Mineral Point, Wisconsin–Peanut of Blind Faith Farm is also available at the following Wisconsin bookstores:

Tribeca Gallery Cafe, Watertown

Books and Company, Oconomowoc

Mystery to Me, Madison

Ebert’s Greenhouse Village, Ixonia

 

On August 15, I first heard of Peanut of Blind Faith Farm  by listening to an outstanding interview with the author on The Larry Meiller Show of the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio.  You may listen to the almost 35-minute interview at the following direct link:

 

https://www.wpr.org/listen/1146276

 

Although I rarely do book reviews, I thought this book was so touching and special that I wanted to highly recommend it to all of you for your own reading, your reading to children, and/or your gift-giving.

 

Warm thanks to Jim and Laura for raising and loving a lamb who happened to be born blind, and many thanks to Jim for sharing the inspirational and wonderful story with us.  With permission of the author, I am closing with the meaningful final portion of the dedication in Jim Thompson’s book:  “To all those, both animal and human, who struggle through adversity to live productive, fulfilling lives.  And in so doing, reward us all.”  God bless Peanut!

 

 

Happy reading!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

 

September 27, 2017, Wednesday

 

From → Uncategorized

8 Comments
  1. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Alice,
    Thank you so much for introducing me to the delightful children’s book, “Peanut of Blind Faith Farm.” Today I had the pleasure of reading it aloud to my PreKindergarten class of four and five-year-old children. My young students have been learning about the Five Senses. To introduce Peanut, I explained that some people have eyes that do not work well to see and that some animals are also not able to see well. Peanut, the little lamb, was born blind; he could not see at all–a complex concept for preschoolers to grasp. The children were enthralled with the story, especially enjoying the sweet illustrations that depicted Peanut–a pet that any one of the chldren would love to have! Giggles were heard when Peanut and a gentle lamb head-butted in a friendly exchange. Through the story, the children began to understand how this blind sheep used her other senses to learn about her world and to live very happily within the flock and with Farmer Jim and his wife Laura. In our next Read Aloud Time, I will share more information about sheep listed at the end of this thought-provoking and heart-warming book.
    Love to you and Willow,
    Mary

    • Mary–I am glad to hear that you read PEANUT OF BLIND FAITH FARM to your students today.  Besides being a captivating story, the book is a very good teaching tool.

          Did you remember to tell your students that we had sheep and a pet lamb named Snowball when we were very young?

      Enjoy the weekend–Alice and Willow

    • Hi Mary,
      It was very gratifying to read your comments. Thank you for reading Peanut’s story to your young audience and I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed. I will pass on your comments to our illustrator Becky Driscoll, she will love hearing that the kids enjoyed the pictures as well! Thank you again, and please do pass the word!!
      Sincerely,
      Jim Thompson

  2. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Thank you for writing this nice review and providing all of the side information for interested individuals. Our blind barn cat, Red Rider, adapted so well to his sudden blindness, first in one eye, then rapidly in the other, that it inspired us daily. Even our vet couldn’t believe how he got around and remarked that he looked very healthy. We don’t know what caused his unexpected death at age 12, but we do know that he died in his own barn and was not attacked by a predator, which was our greatest fear. He was named Red Rider because of his ginger color and his love of climbing up on the tractor, into the trailer, or up onto any thing we were working on.

    Because we live on a small farm and have only pet animals, we always tell people it is called a “hobby farm” because when you live on one, you don’t have time or money for other hobbies.

    Losing a sense is not the end and being born without one is just a different beginning–a good thing for all young children to know. Thanks again for this review–Sue

    • Sue–Special thanks for sharing some of your story about Red Rider–a story that also deserves to be in a book.  Also, I got a chuckle from your definition of a “hobby farm.”

      With many thanks for your taking the time to comment on this blog post, Alice and Willow

  3. Hi Sue,
    I really appreciate your kind words about Peanut, and thanks for sharing your experience with Red Rider! These critters sure do capture our hearts don’t they? And I especially love your comment on what having a hobby farm can mean. I am going to use your definition at our next presentation, I’m sure the audience will get a kick out of it, it’s perfect and SO true. Thank you again.
    Sincerely,
    Jim

  4. Carole permalink

    Thank you, Alice, for sharing this lovely story. I wish I were still teaching to share the beautiful book with my students. I look forward to reading the inspirational book very soon.

    • Hi, Carole–After you see and read this very special book, I think Peanut will have a fan in Florida.

      Thanks for all of the “likes” on my blog posts–Alice and Willow

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