Story County Cover

Story County: Here We Come! Reviews

Story County: Here We Come!
is available at your local bookstore
or online


From Publishers Weekly
Toward the end of this first book in a new series set in Story County, Chicken tells a succinct bedtime story: "Once upon a time... there were five friends. Together they made one wonderful farm. The end." In reducing this book's plot to those few sentences, Anderson demonstrates that storytelling is much more than just what happens. And he proves it in the preceding pages, in which a cheerful yet clueless farmer and four animals create a farm from scratch, transforming empty spreads into a vivid barnyard. Anderson's cartoons are a departure from the richly developed worlds of his Little Quack books; equally accessible, this book's loose aesthetic features characters composed of boldly outlined geometric shapes, splashy colors, and confident brushwork. Chronicled in punchy, dialogue-driven prose, the friends' slapdash process lends itself to amusing scenes: paint sloshes and spills as they work on the barn; Dog buries bones when they plant "their favorite foods"; and Miss Cow, wearing high heels, hauls a crescent moon across the field to decorate the night sky that they paint--the crowning touch on a day's hard work. Ages 2–6. (Jan.)


From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—In a go-getting display of exuberance, a farmer, pig, cow, chicken, and dog create a farm in a day. Starting with barn building and painting it in rainbow hues, continuing through pouring the fields from bags of "instant farm field" and planting jelly-bean and pizza crops, strategically placing haystacks and scarecrows, and capping it all off with a night sky; this fantasy landscape takes shape. The cartoon characters caper across the warmly colored spreads on oddly disjointed bodies that seem just right for the premise of a magical mystery farm. The book ends as Chicken tells her pajama-clad pals a bedtime story: "Once upon a time...there were five friends. Together they made one wonderful farm." Libraries looking for material on imaginative play may want to consider this funny romp.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI


From Kirkus Reviews
In a fit of metafictional worldbuilding, Farmer and four animals march gaily onto blank pages and proceed in steps to build a barn, pour out brown fields (from a bag of "Instant Farm Field"), plant tall cornstalks and haystacks, erect a scarecrow (a princess, thanks to Miss Cow) and finally paint in an evening sky. The five then march back to their bedroom for a snack and a quick bedtime recap of the day's activities from Chicken, leaving the farm all set to be the background for further stories in the morning. Each composed from several pieces that aren't always quite attached, Anderson's loose-jointed cartoon figures labor—or in Farmer's case goof off and make silly comments—in simple, increasingly full surroundings. Rounded off with a panoramic view of the deserted barnyard with a "Welcome to Story County!" sign posted in the foreground and a cozy final view of Chicken rocking her eggs to sleep, here's a cheery invitation to children to imagine stories or story stages of their own. (Picture book. 4-6)