Children's Literature Bookshelf

“Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. Simon Spotlight, 2000, 32 pages, K-2.

“Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin.
Simon Spotlight, 2000, 32 pages, K-2.

Literature has many purposes at different times. In times of strife, it can help people act with courage. In times of cultural turmoil, it can serve as a humoring tonic for troubled hearts. In the last several weeks, the USA has been attacking itself over a Supreme Court nomination. The rancor aroused by this Supreme Court nomination battle has left both sides bruised and battered. If you, too, feel depressed by these events, then Doreen Cronin has a hysterical antidote. She has written one of the funniest early readers that you are likely to encounter. The name of this delightful story is “Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type.”

Farmer Brown runs an orderly farm. The dairy cows provide milk twice a day. The chickens lay many eggs which leads to a tidy profit margin for Brown. The ducks swim around the pond and are content. Suddenly this happy world is completely upset. The cows have found a typewriter in the barn and begin to organize into a union. After discussing their situation through a series of moos, the cows type up a series of demands and nail it to the barn door. Their primary complaint is that the barn is cold. They demand that the farmer provide electric blankets for all of the cows. Farmer Brown furiously tells the cows that they will not receive the electric blankets.

With this, the cows stand in solidarity with their demands and go on strike. They type up a second letter and tell the farmer that they won’t give any milk until he honors their first request. Farmer Brown belligerently refuses the cows a second time. After again mooing together, the cows type up another request. They want their electric blankets, and type that the chickens are cold as well. Therefore they demand that the farmer also provide electric blankets for the chickens. Now Farmer Brown finds his old typewriter and pounds out his response. He tells the cows and the chickens that they won’t get electric blankets and that they must produce milk and eggs. He finds a compliant duck to take his ultimatum back to the rebelling animals.

The animals then call a union meeting in the barn. Everyone is there, but the ducks and chickens have trouble understanding cow language. In spite of this a final report is typed out with a list of demands. What do the animals demand from Farmer Brown?

Does Farmer Brown cave in to the animals’ demands? Are the animals browbeaten into submission? Wouldn’t electric blankets feel cozy on cold winter nights? What do the ducks learn from this strike? Have you ever had to really struggle for something that you wanted? What did it take to achieve your goal? What do the animals and Farmer Brown learn about labor negotiations? To find out the answers to these and other questions, go to the library and check out this amusing story, “Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin.

This highly popular book has evolved into a series of Click, Clack books. The pictures and the story will keep you laughing. It is an excellent book to read aloud with younger members of your family.

Cronin is not trying to reach literary heights with this book, but if you are looking for a title that will lift you spirits, this is the one. I hope you get a chance to read this or any of the Click, Clack books. They are great fun. Enjoy!

Terrence Nollen

 

 

 

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