Why Did the Farmer

Cover: Why Did the Farmer

Farmer would just like to sleep in but his early morning slumbers are disturbed by his faithful companion, Donkey. And Donkey isn't there to bid Farmer a good morning. As it turns out, the prospect of fun and food has lured the farm's livestock to a local fair. Now it's up to Farmer and Donkey to go round up the wayward critters before they can get into too much trouble. Or is it too late? Young readers will laugh out loud at the antics of the farmer's chickens, goats, pigs, and one anxious cow in this quirky take on the traditional knock-knock joke.



  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781585369638): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2017, 03/15/2017
  • PDF (9781634723985): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2017, 03/15/2017
  • Hosted ebook (9781634724289): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2017, 03/15/2017
  • Subject: Language Arts


  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 5 - Age 7
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
  • Lexile® Measure: 500
  • Guided Reading Level: M

BISAC Subjects


School Library Journal - Why Did the Farmer Cross the Road?

PreS-Gr 2–James puts a new spin on the timeless joke in her first picture book. In this quirky tale, Donkey awakens the farmer, alerting him that the pigs have left the farm. The farmer states, “That’s not possible” and goes back to sleep. Meanwhile, the pigs are walking through town, looking for a snack. Now the cows and sheep are following. Also, the chickens. Finally, the farmer starts listening to Donkey, and they go in search of the farm animals, who are all on their way to the country fair. Outlined in black, the illustrations are bright, cheerful, and cartoonish. The text is simple, and the dialogue between the farmer and the donkey is color-coded to keep the speakers straight. The animals’ conversations appear in word bubbles. The expressions on their faces are amusing, and readers will laugh at the antics that ensue. VERDICT This new slant on a timeless joke will fit into any barnyard-related storytime. A fun addition.


Illustrator: Mike Herrod