Book Recommendation: ‘Farmhouse’ by Sophie Blackall

Recommended by BETH LOKKEN, Youth Services Librarian, Door County Library

If you’re looking for a beautifully illustrated, thoughtful picture book, you can’t go wrong with anything by Sophie Blackall, who has twice earned the Caldecott Medal, which is bestowed on the best picture book of the year. 

Her latest book is Farmhouse: the tale of the family that lived in a New England farmhouse during the early 20th century. Told in simple text, this is the story of a family that raised 12 children, watched them grow up and then move away. The twist at the end is the sweetest: One of the children, Sophie, buys the eventually deserted farmhouse and salvages what she can of her family’s history before the leaning, condemned structure is torn down. Every page tells the real story with salvaged bits of her family’s life. 

The book struck a chord with me because my family also has a farmhouse that’s falling in and tells our story. If you want to read a lovingly crafted history of one farming family in picture-book form, this book is for you, too.

November Is Picture Book Month

In 2010, there were people who predicted the end of the print book, but there is something particularly lovely about a good picture book. And nothing quite matches the feeling of having a child in your arms or lap while sharing a picture book, discussing the pictures and turning the pages together. 

In 2011, picture-book partisans declared November to be Picture Book Month. Learn more about this special annual celebration at