phd mama

from diapers to deconstruction


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Fair to Midway Stories

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Ever since I took my daughters to the county fair this summer, they’ve been reenacting it with their toys. From the twirling rides to the newborn cow to the snow cones, their fair memories add new glamour to our old wagon and farm play set. I wanted to enrich their recollections with stories about all kinds of fairs. Each of the stories on this list shows a unique perspective, but all of them capture the excitement of the lush sensory experience that epitomizes the fair. So take home these stories, and keep that fair feeling all year long.

  1. Clarissa by Carol Talley and Itoko Maeno; take an unexpected trip to the fair with Clarissa the cow, who finds out that kindness offers its own rewards.
  2. County Fair by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jody Wheeler; bask in the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned fair as the Wilder family displays their hard work and earns their ribbons.
  3. A Fabulous Fair Alphabet by Debra Frasier; traipse from A to Z with bold, energetic illustrations that mimic the fair’s stimulating scenes.
  4. Fair! by Ted Lewin; watch the fair’s transformation from setup to opening night to judging day to take down, and see the labor and pleasure in every stage.
  5. Fair Cow by Leslie Helakoski; help Effie prepare for the fair and learn that she can be the fairest of them all simply by being herself.
  6. Hurry Down to Derry Fair by Dori Chaconas and Gillian Tyler; catch the rhyming excitement of Dinny Brown, who can’t wait to get to the fair with his family.
  7. I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman and Henry Cole; chase a wee piggy through a colorful, rhyming romp at the fair.
  8. Knitting Nell by Julie Jersild Roth; get to know Nell, a great knitter and listener who wins big at the fair and finds her friendly voice.
  9. Minerva Louise at the Fair by Janet Morgan Stoeke; follow a star-struck chicken through the fair’s dazzling sights, including a blue ribbon and a fancy new coop.
  10. Molly Who Flew Away by Valeri Gorbachev; chase Molly and her friends through the fair and the skies in this uplifting tale of friendship.
  11. Only One by Marc Harshman and Barbara Garrison; practice creative counting with a book that shows how all the exhibits come together for one fantastic fair.