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The Farmyard Idol

There is frenzy in the farmyard when the animals see the sign “Searching for a Farmyard Idol” nailed to the cowshed door. They set off for auditions, keen to show off their talents and support one another. But will all the judges be impressed? An ideal read-aloud book for 4-9 year olds from the Read and Colour Collection.

“A collaboration between well known children’s writer Angie Belcher, respected artist Debbie Tipuna and book designer Sarah Elworthy, this book is an absolute gem. The story follows farmer Fred and his marvellously musical animals. When farmhand Joe suggestions a competition to find out which animal is the best, ‘Farmyard Idol’ is born. A poster advertises the competition and milk shed venue. Hen decides to enter, as does Dog, Cow, Horse, Rooster, Sheep and Pig. The animals take their turn to perform in the ‘Farmyard Idol’ with Fred, his wife Betty and farmhand Joe as the judges. It’s a hard decision as to which animal is best!

This A4 sized picture book is lavishly illustrated and full of wonderful whimsical touches throughout. The exciting design features an opportunity for children (or adults!) to colour in some of the illustrations. This isn’t essential, however, as the book works really well as it is with the mixture of eye-catching coloured and uncoloured illustrations.

The copyright page is set against a delightful background map of the farm. This is followed by the intriguing addition of four illustrated postcards which can be removed and sent through the post – a charming marketing tool. The cover is bright and attractive, sure to appeal to children. I especially love the two rows of bunting which are repeated during the story. The book has been brought together very nicely and I can easily see it becoming a family favourite and, in time, a New Zealand children’s classic.”

Reviewed by Debbie McCauley - Tauranga City Librarian 

The Read and Colour Collection


  • Language specifically targeted for reading aloud, perfect for classroom use or whole family reading.
  • Active participation by child through colouring-in, completing images and searching for hidden creatures or clues (check out the worm in The Farmyard Idol!)
  • Tear-out postcards to be coloured, written on and posted.
  • All stories have a positive message.
  • Specific learning points targeted e.g. musical terms and patterns in The Farmyard Idol
  • Teaching notes and student worksheets and templates available on request via the website contact page.