The [Amish] School Picnic

Author:  Jan Steffy


The Review

An informative picture book about a day in the life of the Amish. Steffy accurately shows the fun the children have with simple pleasures during the last day of school a barefoot walk across a field to class, fishing, a softball game with parents, and an egg carrying relay race. Illustrations are large and colorful, with a primitive yet humorous quality.


Sack races were always a favorite.

This non-fiction book was actually not a favorite of mine.   Yet learning about another culture was a valuable lesson for my first graders.  In The School Picnic, on the last day of school, the Amish children were treated to an all school picnic with their families attending.  The reason I chose to share this book with you is because even a book that may not be dynamic can be used to create incredible and lasting memories. This book did just that! I’m sure many former students won’t remember this book, but they will certainly recall the delightful day they experienced because of it.  We followed the story and created our own “school picnic.”  Our classroom dads grilled burgers, moms brought chips, cookies, and strawberries.  We played baseball, ran three-legged races, and had egg tosses. And of course, everyone wore black pants, suspenders and aprons!  It was a day full of yummy food and happy memories!

What about you? Do you recall a special day that was launched from the delight of a book?


My dear 1st graders – One of my favorite moments we shared during our year together.

You may want to check out this series of beautifully illustrated books by Merle Good and P. Buckley Moss, to share with your child(ren) while introducing them to the life and culture of the Amish.


Also, Click Here for a list of Amish fiction for children written by Wanda Brunstetter.


Mary Byrne Kline


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