Every bale of hay has a little bit of summer sun stored in the heart of it— learn from a mother-daughter team how hay is made!
Feeding her horses one cold and wintry day, a girl thinks about all the hard work that went into the fresh-smelling bales she’s using. The rhyming text and brilliant full-page paintings follow the girl and her mother through the summer as they cut, spread, dry and bale in the fields.
Mower blades slice through the grass./A new row falls with every pass./Next we spread the grass to dry./The tedder makes those grasses fly!
This celebration of summer, farming, and family, illustrated by Pura Belpré honor artist Joe Cepeda, includes a glossary of haymaking words, and a recipe for making your own switchel— a traditional farm drink, to cool you down in the summer heat.
A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
Christy Mihaly writes for young readers because she believes that our best hope for the future is raising kids who love to read. She has published more than 20 children’s nonfiction titles on topics from free speech to food to fashion. After stints residing in six other states, and Spain, she settled happily with her family in rural Vermont where she writes under the careful supervision of her dog and cat. She enjoys walking in the woods and playing the cello (though not simultaneously). Christy’s picture book “Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means,” is a lively introduction to the freedoms protected in the First Amendment. “Hey, Hey, Hay! (A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them),” a 2019 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, follows a farm girl and her mother as they bring in the hay. Both picture books offer additional information in the back—including a recipe for switchel in HAY.
Joe Cepeda received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach, and also studied Engineering at Cornell University. He is a fine artist, as well as an illustrator of more than thirty-five book jackets and picture books, which have received many honors including Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, Parenting Magazine’s Reading Magic Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, Texas Library Association 2x2 Reading List, ALA Notable Books, and Child Magazine’s Best Book of the Year. Joe illustrated Hey, Hey, Hay! by Christy Mihaly, ¡Vamonos! Let’s Go! by Rene Colato Lainez, and Swing Sisters by Karen Deans. He both wrote and illustrated two I Like to Read books—Up and I Dig. Joe received an American Library Association Pura Belprè Honor and the Recognition of Merit Award from the George G. Stone Center for Children’s Books. He lives in Southern California.
Where did the idea for this book come from?
The inspiration for this book showed up right under my nose. I was working on a couple of other books, when my family moved to a new home surrounded by hayfields and I saw the haymaking process for the first time. I found the idea, and the process, of turning grass into hay for the winter both beautiful and fascinating. The scent of new-mown grass filled the air and the rhythm of the machines (mower, tedder, baler, hay!) got into my head. Then these lines started running around in my mind: “Listen and I’ll tell the tale of storing summer in a bale.” And that turned into a poem, and then that turned into a picture book!
To Marc, who sees the poetry in hayfields, and to Erica for sharing her haymaking reflections. Thanks to my friends, neighbors, and partners in haying: Anne, Gus, Marianne, and Richard.
For Rosa Maria and Adrienne, mother and daughter.