Cover image for Tuttle's Red Barn : the story of America's oldest family farm
Tuttle's Red Barn : the story of America's oldest family farm
Michelson, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2007.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
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Call Number
Material Type
Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library 1 J 929.2 M Juvenile NonFiction Book

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In 1632, John Tuttle set sail from England to Dover, New Hampshire. There he set up a farm on seven acres of land. From those humble beginnings the Tuttle family story became America’s story.As the Tuttles passed down the farm, along the way they witnessed the settlement and expansion of New England; they fought in the American Revolution; they helped runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad and sold maple syrup to Abraham Lincoln; they bought the first Model T in that Dover; and they transformed the old barn into the thriving country store it is today.With Caldecott Medalist Mary Azarian’s evocative woodcuts and Richard Michelson’s moving prose bringing the Tuttle story to life, readers will be enraptured by the panorama of American history as seen through the eyes of one family.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Tuttle's Red Barn, in Dover, New Hampshire, is the oldest continuing family farm in America. In this picture-book account, Michelson traces the history of the farm, beginning in the seventeenth century when John Tuttle left England, crossed the Atlantic, and settled in Dover. Subsequent spreads introduce new generations of Tuttles, moving through the centuries to today's family members, who still operate a working farm on the property. The text is very brief, allowing for little time to connect with each generation or to put referenced topics, such as the Underground Railroad, into context. Michelson carefully inserts details about the rigors of daily work through the seasons and ages, though, and these specifics form an interesting view of our country's past, refreshingly seen through scenes of everyday life. Azarian's colored woodblock prints alternate close-up images of families at work with sweeping, panoramic scenes of the fields and farm that reinforce the sense of a specific place. A good supplement for American history units or for classroom discussions about family trees and the legacies generations share.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2007 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Michelson (Too Young for Yiddish) and Caldecott Medalist Azarian (Snowflake Bentley) salute 12 generations of Tuttles from Dover, N.H., operators of the longest continuously running family farm in the country (tourists may know its Red Barn farm stand). Tuttles "didn't mind hard work"-a phrase that serves as refrain-and family members found all kinds of ways to reap the land's bounty: along with planting crops, they also made maple syrup (and sold a sample to Abraham Lincoln), harvested cranberries and grapes, and installed the town's first cider mill. Each chapter focuses on the male Tuttle who inherits the farm, and that Tuttle, glimpsed in his youth, observes some history (fifth-generation William hears nine cannon salutes fired nine minutes apart on June 21, 1788, when his state becomes the ninth state to ratify the Constitution; two generations later, Joseph helps runaway slaves). Tuttle family lore, meanwhile, gets its own symbol via a pair of pewter candleholders brought from England by the first Tuttle. Michelson doesn't sentimentalize: the Tuttles endure economic downturns as well as the siren calls of Harvard, Western Expansion and the Industrial Revolution (a friend who leaves his farm for the mills writes, "I only have to work 12 hours a day... and I get Sunday off every week!"). In Azarian's tableau-like woodcuts, styles change while character endures. Her hand-crafted aesthetic enhances the story's warmth and humanity, while the sophisticated tints and bold outlines intensify the unalloyed beauty, reassuring rhythms and beguiling fecundity of rural farm life. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Visited by more than 1000 customers daily who buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and other goods, the country's oldest continuing family farm has a story that parallels that of America. Michelson introduces readers to 12 generations of farming Tuttles, beginning with John Tuttle, who settled in Dover, NH, in 1632. Significant historical events, including interactions with displaced Penacook Indians, the Revolutionary War, the ratification of the Constitution, and participation in the Underground Railroad, are skillfully intertwined with the Tuttles' personal history. Several themes emerge: the value of hard work, the recognition that the farm was "the perfect place to raise a family," and the sustaining power of family. In fact, Grayson, who was born in 1997 and represents the 12th generation, states his intention to someday run the business. Filled with vivid colors and fluid lines, Azarian's masterful woodcuts perfectly complement the narrative, reflecting a simple, nostalgic vision of the world. Her attention to the details of each time period subtly conveys information about the changes in one American family farm as well as in the nation itself. This is an important book that children will enjoy.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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