As our kids grow, so does the number of children’s books in our collection. Scarlett is into everything Barbie, princesses, unicorns and magic fairies; while Thorne is obsessed with tractors, dinosaurs and monsters. Of course, the stories we can all agree on relate to livestock and ranch life.
Thanks to Amazon Prime, we now have a new book in our collection that we all have come to love and enjoy. It’s titled, “The Girl Who Thought in Pictures — The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin.”
Written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley, the book describes Temple’s childhood and how other kids made fun of her for being different. Her mother was determined to help Temple succeed, and when the doctors finally discovered Temple was autistic, she finally had the tools she needed to help her daughter grow and learn in a way that suited her best.
With a love of science and math, Temple really started to thrive when she spent some time at a relative’s ranch. She appreciated the animals, especially the cattle, and she quickly realized that livestock were a lot like her — they didn’t think in words but in pictures!
Here is an excerpt from the book: “Quite a sweet spot, she had, for the cows in their herds, such big, gentle beasts, who knew nothing of words. As she watched her new friends, a thought popped in her head: ‘These cows think like ME — in PICTURES instead!”
READ: 8 steps for stress free handling on the range
The story then explains how Temple applied her skills to find innovative ways to work cattle in a non-stress environment. And despite being different and a woman in a field that was predominantly men, Temple earned accolades, recognition and respect in the industry.
Another page in the book reads, “And then, something COOL…Can you guess? Could it be? Off to COLLEGE she went! A degree? She earned THREE! And though ladies weren’t experts on farms at that time, do you think that stopped Temple? NO WAY! She did fine.
“She never gave up, learned her stuff through and through, like why cattle will circle and what makes them MOOOOoooooo. To build better farms was her goal — she would do it. ‘Be KIND to our creatures. They have FEELINGS!’ She knew it.”
READ: Why I disagree with Temple Grandin on reteaching predator instincts in cattle
As we know, Temple’s work has been implemented in packing plants, feedlots and corral systems around the world. The story tells readers how she achieved success and even had a Hollywood movie made about her life. In a small way, BEEF magazine played a role in the Temple Grandin story. BEEF was the first livestock publication to print articles about her revolutionary, at the time anyway, ideas on cattle handling. BEEF even had a cameo role in her movie.
My kids really love this book. The illustrations are beautiful, and the moral of the story teaches kids about tolerance, making friends with those who are maybe a little different than we are, learning at our own pace, pursuing careers in science and math and succeeding despite the odds.
READ: Ag industry needs to open up says Temple Grandin
As a parent, I love the lessons this book has to offer, and it’s rare to find agricultural-based stories like this that are both factual and a fun read.
Check out the book for yourself and let me know what you think.
What other books would you recommend we add to our book collection? I would love to hear which agricultural stories your kids enjoy reading the most. Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.