If I may, I wish to answer a few questions I have once or twice been asked by those here on The Farm who are more curious of mind (for by now we residents have certainly become aware of the continued chronicling of our adventures). The question I have been asked most frequently are: For what ages are these chronicles intended? Are the stories suitable for everyone? Is there any particular age for which they have been written? These questions I hear most often from those wishing to read aloud to their young ones or present the stories as gifts, and therefore I shall attempt here to present useful answers. I must admit when regarding these questions I was led to ponder them for some time. When asked by my fellow residents here on The Farm, I often reply the books are indeed suitable for most everyone, even if our lives may at times seem a bit perilous. Fortunately for us, however, such perils as we have had passed without harm. For the younger ones among us, I would expect the range of vocabulary might be a bit challenging and therefore a learning opportunity. I should also point out the chronicles of our stories are substantial chapter books of over 400 pages. Certainly young ones more seasoned in their reading (say age eight or over) will likely encounter little difficulty and will likely learn a new word or two. The stories begin simply and gently and gradually build in the number of characters and the complexity of plot. But such notions as using strict age categories are too narrow, for one’s age in years is not as relevant as the amount of time spent in reading. Time and experience grant us differing “ages” depending on what it is we wish to do. For example, even with my having seen the passing of a fair number of years, I am still only a child when it comes to the proper way to bake Banbury cakes or conjugate French verbs (as much as I would like to master these endeavors!). The young ones here on The Farm enjoy listening to and reading our tales, as do those with a more seasoned disposition. With so much variety in taste, interest, and ability, as with so many things in life these are not simple questions with simple answers.
It may suffice to say the stories can be read and enjoyed by most anyone experienced with more extensive chapter books. I do have a number of friends and acquaintances who have read the stories aloud to their younger children before bedtime, while other children of a similar age have read them through by themselves. Recently I was told of a nine year old who read the entirety of Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Edges of Things — a book of 419 pages— in a single day! In summary, the stories of our lives here on The Farm are for anyone who enjoys the simple pleasure of reading and the quite real magic of books.
Yours Very Respectfully,