Welcome to Silver Street Farm
by Nicola Davies (Author)
Nicola Davies is a zoologist, the former presenter of the popular BBC wildlife programme The Really Wild Show, and author of many books with animal and environmental themes, including Poo: A Natural History of the Unmentionable, The Gaia Warriors and Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear.
Welcome to Silver Street Farmis the first book in a series about three friends who dream of creating a city farm in an abandoned railway station. Set in a multicultural urban location, it is a conventional wish-fulfilment story, fun and light-hearted, but its unrealistic plot and cast of bland adult stereotypes give it an old-fashioned feel. This is a Big Society where very round policemen wink and hold up traffic for goats, and the local community mobilises at the drop of a hat to defeat the wicked man from the council who, unsurprisingly, drops the plan to demolish the derelict station – just like that.
The ‘multiculturalism’ comes in the form of Auntie Nat, with her ‘heavy Russian accent’, Stewy, who peers through his dreadlocks, Mr Khan and family in the corner shop, and our heroes, Gemma, Karl and Meera. Reading Welcome to Silver Street Farm you cannot avoid the feeling that the writer and her editorial team were ticking little boxes.
The black-and-white illustrations by award-winning Katharine McEwen will keep younger readers guessing the owners of the muddy paws and claws that stride across the bottoms of the pages.
This review was published online in