When my (now five-year-old) daughter was still a bub, I had a vivid dream. It was about a group of cows that were owned by Peter Combe, and they went on strike until their demands for juicy, juicy green grass were met.
I shared this incredible dream with my Facebook friends, suggesting that my creative mind was in overdrive and that I should (clearly) write books for children. A friend replied to tell me that there was already a book along those lines, and I should check out Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.
I did, and giggled the whole way through (although I was disappointed at the lack of Peter Combe cameo, not to mention the fact that I couldn’t act on my brilliant children’s book idea). We have since purchased A Barnyard Collection, which contains three of these clickety clackety tales. Here are our thoughts.
Click, Clack, Moo and more: A Barnyard Collection / Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Click, Clack, Moo and more: A Barnyard Collection contains three books from the Doreen Cronin/Betsy Lewin stable (pun totally intended): Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; and Dooby Dooby Moo.
In Click, Clack, Moo, the cows find an old typewriter in the barn and send Farmer Brown a note requesting electric blankets. When he refuses, the cows go on strike. The strike escalates as other animals join in, until Duck offers to help (before proving himself to be cheekier than the cows).
In Giggle, Giggle, Quack, Farmer Brown leaves his brother Bob in charge as he heads off on holiday. His hand-written instructions seem a little strange to Bob – and why is Duck always carrying a pencil around? – but he doesn’t question the instructions to provide pizza for dinner, baths for the pigs and a movie night for the cows.
In Dooby Dooby Moo, the animals decide to try their luck in a talent competition. When the pigs fall asleep mid-interpretive dance, it’s up to Duck to save the day.
The books are funny, and become that little bit more outlandish with each outing. The animals work together to outsmart Farmer Brown, but their requests and actions are never vicious.
My children love all three stories in A Barnyard Collection, but the original remains the best, with Click, Clack, Moo being the strongest of the three. Of course, as with all book reviews, I can’t ignore the grammatical problems. The switch from present tense on the first page to past tense for the rest of the book bothers me. Every single time. But it doesn’t detract from the actual story. (The story I dreamt, and had then dreamt I could turn into a bestselling book. Sorry, that tractor has sailed. Bitterness? Farm-corrupted metaphors? Me? Of course not!)
Recommended for children ages three and up (and for parents who may or may not be bitter about losing out on the story idea!). You can buy Click, Clack, Moo and more: A Barnyard Collection from Booktopia here or from Book Depository here.
Have you read Click, Clack, Moo or any of the other Barnyard stories? What did you think?
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