Farmers have to get up early. It’s just the nature of the job. However, I’m sure that some mornings are easier than other mornings. This is the fate that has fallen upon the farmer in When the Rooster Crowed; for whatever reason, he just needs a little more time before starting the day. However, the animals are hungry, and the farmer’s wife has breakfast ready. He promises them five more minutes, then a few more minutes….one more minute…half a minute! However, the animals (and his wife) are not waiting (and making it abundantly clear). Finally, the farmer hops out of bed, dresses, milks the cow, feeds the other animals, and then sits down for breakfast. Whew! What a morning!
This is a quick read; each page has 1-2 sentences per page. However, ample opportunities for making animal sounds will invite children to moo and cluck along with you; and shouting “Albert!” when the farmer’s wife calls him for breakfast will probably elicit giggles.
While there are quite a few picture books about animals who make the “wrong” animal sound, Denise Fleming’s The Cow Who Clucked is one of my favorites. Poor Cow has lost her “moo”; apparently, someone else is missing her “cluck”, because this cow is clucking away. Off she goes in search of her “moo.” She meets an assortment of animals-Dog, Bee, Cat, etc-but none of them has her moo. At sunset, she returns to the barn and passes a very dejected looking hen. “Moo, moo” says the hen. Aha! Cow’s moo has been found!
Like many of Denise Fleming’s books, this is a simple story with bright, bold, and expressive illustrations. With an abundance of animal noises and the mystery behind Cow’s lack of “moo,” this will be one that will probably find its way into the hands of a toddler or parent after storytime.
A visit to a cousin’s farm is eagerly anticipated in Michael Garland’s My Cousin Katie. Our nameless narrator describes the many exciting things and activities that Katie experiences on the farm; the rooster crowing in the morning, gathering eggs for breakfast, feeding the animals, weeding the patch, helping her father fix the tractor, to name just a few of the activities.
This is a gentle and heartfelt look at the many activities on a farm, the novelty of a visit, and a friendship between two cousins. I used it as a bridge between the previous two stories in order to not have two “animal sounds” stories in a row.
(I also read Margaret Wise Brown’s Big Red Barn, but you already know about that book!)
What are your favorite books about farm life/farm animals?
Brown, Margaret Wise Brown. Big Red Barn. New York: Harper, 1956.
Fleming, Denise. The Cow Who Clucked. New York: Henry Holt, 2006.
Garland, Michael. My Cousin Katie. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1989.
Lillie, Patricia. When the Rooster Crowed. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1991.