When our kids got big enough that it was clear they weren’t going to be reading any more picture books, we took our sadly discarded picture books by the boxload to various book sales and other outlets until a few of the best ones remained.  Those, some of which were survivors of my or Audrey’s childhood, have now been safely packed away in the attic.  Several of our favorites were written by Richard Scarry, with his quirky and lovable characters inhabiting their close-knit and quirky small-town world.  This morning, it struck me, as I watched our neighbor David walk his dogs Duncan and Cardiff through the farm (the odd couple of an officious Scottie and an enthusiastic Golden Retriever drags David through the farm every morning; Cardiff the Golden has to enthusiastically greet everyone he passes, while Duncan kicks some dirt at a slight remove,)  how much fun the Richard Scarry Simple Gifts Farm edition would be.  The whole farm might occupy a frame that had David, Duncan, and Cardiff walking through the lower right hand corner, while Farmer Dave drives his tractor along the road through the middle, Apprentice Andre picks some summer squash and cucumbers in the upper left corner, Mia and Hayden prune tomatoes in greenhouse in the upper right hand corner, and Apprentice Travis sets up fence for the cows in the lower left corner.  Farmer Jeremy walks through almost every frame, looking slightly harried as he tries to make sure that everyone is doing their job correctly.  There are plenty of slapstick tragicomedies in the Simple Gifts Farm Richard Scarry book:  Oh, no, Farmer Dave! That was our dill and cilantro you just tilled in! (I’m sorry to say that this actually did happen yesterday; I replanted it today so you can expect to see some in about a month and a half).  And of course, Lowly Worm is the star of the show.  With all of the work we do on soil fertility, Lowly has room to bring all of his extended family to live here.

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