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October 04, 2001   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
October 04, 2001

"MONTGOMERY, Ala." A sister and brother team, Bonnie Richardson Murphy of Foxworth, Miss., and Shelley Richardson of Birmingham, have created a new children's book aimed at helping small children learn about farm life. The 32-page, hardback book, which is written for preschoolers, is being published by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the state's largest farm organization.

Mrs. Murphy was inspired to write the book after playing with her grandson's collection of farm animals and asking him "Can a Rooster Drive a Tractor?" It took the 60-year-old about one hour to write the book. She later enlisted the help of her brother to illustrate the book, a task that took the 64-year-old about nine months. The book features an animated tractor that wants to get out of the barn and seeks to do so by asking all the barnyard animals if they can drive a tractor.

The Alabama Farmers Federation agreed to publish the book because it believes there is a need for books with a farm message that could reach young children.

"This is a very creative way to tell a simple farm story that enables us to reach a very young audience," said Athens cotton farmer Jerry Newby, president of the Alabama Farmers Federation. "We think this is an important part of promoting agriculture for our future generation."

Both Richardson and Murphy have spent most of their lives in rural areas, exposed to farm life on a daily basis. Although their parents were educators, they had cows, chickens and a garden while they were growing up. With the success of their first book, the brother and sister team already are collaborating on their next children's book.

"Can a Rooster Drive a Tractor?" may be purchased from the Alabama Farmers Federation for $14.95, plus $3 for tax and shipping. Make checks payable to the Alabama Farmers Federation and mail to: Alabama Farmers Federation, Rooster Book, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL, 36191-0001. Books may be purchased by credit card by calling toll-free 1-888-254-7461.

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