Book Review: The Cow-Pie Chronicles by James Butler

Having grown up in a rural, farming community--then raising my daughters in the suburbs--I thought that The Cow-Pie Chronicles would be a fun book to read with my girls. I will admit that there are times that I miss living away from neighbors and the city--but, I doubt that my girls would be very content living so far from the mall and “civilization.” So what did the girls and I think of The Cow-Pie Chronicles by James Butler?  

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary of The Cow-Pie Chronicles by James Butler. Ten-year-old Tim Slinger and his nine-year-old sister Dana face danger, excitement, and heartbreak in this story of life on a modern family farm. Though Tim (aka Poop Slinger) and "Devil" Dana engage in intense sibling rivalry that gets them both into hilarious situations with barns, ropes, farm animals, city-kid cousins, and each other, they are soon forced to confront unwanted changes when the farm is lost. As they face an alien world in town, Dana readily adapts to a new way of life while Tim resists, sending the siblings down separate but intersecting paths. Although an unexpected encounter puts Tim back into familiar surroundings, will life ever be the same?  

The girls found The Cow-Pie Chronicles…educational, so to speak. I can honestly say that the word “cow-pie” was not previously in either of their vocabularies. Luckily, James Butler included a glossary of not-so-citified words--like back forty, roost, hay chaff, stubble field, milking machine, etc. It was fun for me to watch them realize that the entertainment on the farm is found in much different (and often crazy) ways than they enjoy in our digital, 5-minutes-from-the-mall-world.  

I think I enjoyed The Cow-Pie Chronicles more than the kids! This book is written for children--but, well written enough that adults may enjoy it as well..especially those of us with farm/rural living memories!  

Would I recommend The Cow Pie Chronicles by James Butler? This is a great book to introduce farm life (and rural community values) to kids. It is also a great way for adult, farm-city transplants to revisit another time and place in their lives. The book made me smile and gave me many opportunities to share a few stored memories with the girls. If you have any connection with farm life--or want to visit it--this is a fun book to share with the kids.

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About the Author
James “Jim” Butler spent the first 11 years of his life on his family’s Midwest dairy farm. Those years were filled with hard work, adventure and periodic suffering. He then moved to a town far away from country life where he became an excellent student and a track star, setting two school records.

Writing always fascinated him, even in grade school. In 1963, for a sixth-grade English assignment, he attempted to write a book about traveling to the moon. He got a “C” because the assignment was late and unfinished. But he kept writing, getting “A’s” in English and winning a writing award in college. During those years, Jim often told funny stories to friends and relatives about things he did with his sister on the farm—things that often got them both into trouble or put them in sticky situations.

Five years ago, Jim wrote a few stories about his early farm adventures and sent them to a publisher. The publisher loved them and asked if he had more! He had a lot more, and those stories became the basis for The Cow-Pie Chronicles, his best book yet.

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