Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman

FarmAnatomyCoverAndrew and I both are both so impressed with Julia Rothman’s new book Farm Anatomy that we thought we’d each write our own review. We’re hosting a giveaway too, so check the bottom of the post for details.

Kelly’s Review
This book is so deliciously beautiful, you don’t need to have any interest in farming whatsoever. When you open the book you won’t be able to put it down. Suddenly, you will realize that more than anything you want to learn everything you can about whatever the contents have to offer. As you read, you will understand how fascinating and complex farming really is. But you won’t be scared off. You may decide you want to move to the country and start your own farm after all (or at least daydream about it). With this book in your possession you may even be capable of really doing it. It’s that detailed. Right down to predicting weather by looking at clouds, and how to stack split wood.

What makes this book so scrumptious is the illustrations. They’re simply lovely. Not here and there, but every page. I want to eat this book. It would make an excellent gift for all ages. My kids are leaning a ton, and they’re having a blast doing it. There’s a chapter on tractors and tools (for boys of all ages), plus lots of fun activities like: making natural dyes, a corn husk doll, candles, rag rugs, maple syrup, and how to can tomatoes.

I love the useful diagrams like popular apple varieties, herbs, kinds of tomatoes, hot peppers, beans, squash, and more. Plus there are a few gluten-free recipes I can’t wait to try. The borscht sounds really good to me, as well as the freezer dills and dandelion wine.
Did I mention that I love this book? :-) I know you will too.
♥, Kelly

Andrew’s Review
We learned about this book, because I am a fan of Julia Rothman’s artwork. When I first saw it mentioned on her blog I thought she had simply designed a cool book cover, but then I realized she authored and illustrated an entire book on farming. This extensive project was inspired by the author’s visits with her parents-in-law who run a small farm in Iowa. I am very pleased to add Farm Anatomy to my collection of illustrated books on traditional living.

My dad grew up on a farm in upstate New York. He did not care for the exhausting work that characterized his childhood, but when I was a kid it was always fun for me to visit my grandparents. I enjoyed jumping off hay bales, petting horses, and wandering out in the fields. Their farm has since been sold, but this book reminds me of those days. The art was done in a loose, yet well-composed style. It’s all very whimsical. I love how all the titles and text are hand-drawn (the text font was created using the author’s own handwriting). Rothman presents all her information in thoughtful visual arrangements. Throughout the book there is a nice variety of lettering, composition, and color. It all reminds me of Eric Sloane’s illustrated books about early American country living. Farm Anatomy is a delightful reference for adults and kids, and will make a charming gift (even for my dad). —Andrew

Book Giveaway Now Over

Congratulations to Angela, Maegan and Ryan!
Storey Publishing is providing a signed copy of Farm Anatomy for us to giveaway. To enter leave a comment in this blog post. Please leave your first and last name (or at least the last name’s initial). The giveaway will end on Friday the 28th and the randomly selected winner will be announced on Saturday. If you don’t leave your email in the comment, then check back here at this post to see if it’s you. Note: The publisher asks that the giveaway be limited to US residents only.

A bunch of other cool blogs have been doing reviews, author interviews, and giveways. You can see the full list here.


  1. says

    What a cool book! I’m a college student studying painting, trying to work my way through a gluten, refined sugar, and dairy free diet after just recently developing sensitivities. The book looks like it would be so fun and has lots of information i’m dying to understand! My name is Colleen O’Briant.

  2. says

    Love the review. Really makes me want this book. As an artists and a city girl it makes me want to study the artwork. I will confess – I saw my first pig in collage at a mall. Yes, I said a MALL! I need this book!

  3. Anonymous says

    I would love to win this book to share it with my Dad. He’s always dreamed of living on a farm. Thanks again for another great giveaway!

    Glynnis M.

  4. says

    I was thinking when I first saw this post “what a great gift for my husband”, but now I am thinking I would enjoy it just as much. Last year was our first year at our mini farm, boy do we have a lot to learn! Thanks for sharing,
    Margie Byrd

  5. says

    I’m loving how I learn just a little bit more at every site on this blog tour! Tabor, IA is about an hour away from our new homestead. And I love the beekeeping spread (as I keep bees!).
    -AAlesandrini at gmail

  6. says

    I would love this book. We actually are just starting up our own farm. This looks like a book that not only us parents could enjoy but my little girls who are insanely interested in farm life would enjoy also.
    Valerie W.

  7. Sarah M says

    Looks like a very well done book. I think most adults would learn a lot from it too!

    sarahjmcwhirter at gmail dot com

  8. says

    Hello! I am a graphic designer/illustrator/young mom who grew up in Alabama raising chickens so this book speaks to me on many levels. The illustrations are fantastic too! I would LOVE to win this book. Crossing my fingers and toes. Thanks so much.

    Melody E.

  9. says

    Born and raised in the suburbs of a big city, I’ve always been fascinated with the lives of those who live in the country, mostly wondering “What do they DO out there?!” This book looks wonderful!! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

  10. says

    Oh, I know the kids and I would all L.O.V.E. this book!! Especially my little naturalist, Maegan! She wants to own a farm with Ryan when they grow up!
    Hoping we win! 😉

  11. says

    This book reminds me of Kelly’s books in the home-spun, inviting and so very readable text and illustrations (every page in Kelly’s books makes me want to cook her way.) It would be great fun to share this lovely book about farms with my 2 grandsons.

  12. says

    What a great giveaway! I can think of so many people who would love this book, myself included. We live in a town, but garden in our yard, and my son loves to help. Also, my mom grew up on a farm, so I relate to your comments about visiting grandparents. Thanks for the possibility!

  13. says

    I think I’m going to end up buying this for my cousin — she loves farm life. =) The attention to detail looks incredible!

    Tiffany B at

  14. says

    I love books that take advantage of using good illustrations. I’m such a visual learner. This book would be awesome to have!

    Kelly L.
    kellym9 at gmail dot com

  15. says

    We have enjoyed Eric Sloane, too. :-) This is also reminiscent for me of “Back to Basics”, a book our kids grew up referencing for traditional American living projects.

    Thanks for sharing your reviews.

    Debbie MacInnis
    macinnisclan (@)

  16. says

    How fun! I love the books by Amanda Blake Soule – I think I’m a farmer wanna-be. I’d love this book! Thanks for doing a give-away!
    Ellen M.

  17. Karibeth S. says

    Wow! What a neat book! The illustrations are wonderful and even the different sheep faces were surprisingly interesting! Would love to read this book. Hope I win 😀

  18. Shannon says

    Oh my goodness, this looks like a wonderful book! I’m not sure who would enjoy it more- my husband or me! I would love for my 8-year-old son to read it too. My husband and I hope one day to become farmers ourselves.

    shanbar50 at hotmail dot com

    Shannon Bartlett

  19. says

    Thank you! I am just finishing “Sheepish” by Catherine Friend, about two women running a sheep farm. I am glad to have another book about farming to read next. A great gift idea for my daughter who has horses, ducks, chickens, dogs, cats… Thanks again, Genny

  20. says

    This book looks wonderful, and would be a perfect addition to our growing collection. Our family will soon be moving to the country, with the intention of becoming self sufficient in as many ways as possible. We have spent endless hours working on plans for the best use of 5 acres. Small, some might say, but I think if we plan carefully, using resources such as this, we will be able to make it work.

  21. says

    I rarely enter these types of blog-giveaways but this book looks perfect for my home-schooled boys. I am always looking for ways to encourage them to get outside and active and try new things. If I should be so lucky as to win, my e-mail address is

    Looks like a great book!

  22. says

    I always wanted to live on a farm, but both of my parents grew up on one and told me if you had ever been attacked by chickens while gathering eggs you wouldn’t think it was so “Romantic”! So I garden here in suburbia and pretend… :)

  23. says

    This looks so great that I just went to and ordered a copy. My kids and I are obsessed with anything and everything farm related so I can’t wait to snuggle into the couch with them and read this book.


  24. says

    When I first saw the photos of this book I thought it was a children’s book, then as I read through your reviews I realized what a lot of awesome valuable info is included; not that it might not end up in the toybox once the little ones see the pictures!

  25. Sarah E. says

    This book looks wonderful! Would be a great resource for the small bit of ‘farming’ I hope to do in the next two years. -sme28057 at hotmail

  26. Lacy says

    This book looks so cute. I collect farm books. One day I hope to have a farm…sigh. The pictures looked like they would be great for science (I homeschool) class too. Thank you!

    Lacy Anne H.

  27. Tanya says

    AWWWW – US residents only :( oh well……….. I have a farm anyway so I guess I’m living it! But it looks like a lovely book non the less. I’ll have to buy it for my citified nieces LOL

  28. says

    my daughter would absolutely love this book. she is an animal and farm lover with a great attention to detail. and i love the illustrations-so beautiful.

  29. says

    Looks like a great book to keep out on the coffee table! :) I just found your blog for the first time. As a person with many food allergies, it’s always nice to find a new place for info and recipes. I’ll be checking back in again!

    `chrissy eykelbosch

  30. says

    What a beautiful book! And the best thing about these blog tours is that I discover blogs I never knew…like yours! Thanks! jung dot cheryl at gmail dot com

  31. says

    You have such a lovely site. I was looking for a recipe for a birthday cake for my son and found your vanilla bean cake–I made it tonight and it is wonderful! Feels like a miracle.
    This book is so intriguing. Would love to win the give-away!
    Thank you!

  32. says

    Super cool book! My husband and I are just coming back to the States from 9 months in New Zealand working on farms and in permaculture gardens. We really want to have our own land one day, build our own house, and grow most of our food.
    I love the design and illustrations in this book, too! Thanks for the chance to win a copy :)
    -Lori Winter

  33. says

    What a fun book! In the last year we started farming, and it’s an adventure! Since my kids get plenty of toys for Christmas from relatives, they each get their stocking and a big box of books from us. This would be such a fun one to add! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  34. says

    I have been following this book on its blog tour and would love to add it to my collection of books for our whole family to enjoy. It is BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Michele S.

  35. Elisabeth says

    This looks like an amazing book!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images on the matter! Would love to have a copy :)
    Elisabeth Poirier
    alloeli at yahoo dot com

  36. says

    I just moved out to the country with my family this spring, and this looks like *such* an exciting book to read! I’m new to your blog, but enjoy it! Thanks!
    ~Marianna O.

  37. Anonymous says

    I would also love to win this book. Is there any ordering information so that we can order a bunch for Christmas? Sherri L.

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