Monday, October 29, 2012

Click, Clack Moo, Cows That Type

Staff Review by Chris Saliba

What is the story about?

Farmer Brown has a potential rebellion on his hands. The cows have taken to typing and leaving their messages nailed to the barn door. They protest that the barn is too cold and that they would like some electric blankets. Farmer Brown would have none of this and declined their request. Flexing their political muscles, the cows go on strike. "No milk today," they nail a new message to the barn door.

Things only get worse for poor Farmer Brown. The hens are getting in on the act. The cows type a message for them, in which they also demand electric blankets. Further more, both cows and hens are now on strike. "Closed. No Milk. No Eggs," the latest message reads.

Fed up with the behaviour of the cows and hens, Farmer Brown types up a note and gets a neutral party, Duck, to deliver his ultimatum. The cows hold a meeting and decide a course of action. They offer their typewriter to Farmer Brown if he will then provide the electric blankets. At last a compromise is met. The only problem is, the ducks now learn how to type and demand a diving board for their pond! Will there ever be an end of troubles for Farmer Brown and his literate animals?

Who wrote and illustrated the book?

The story is by Doreen Cronin and the pictures are by Betsy Lewin.

Why I liked this book

The story is an absolute hoot. The whole idea of cows forming a protest group and nailing their demands to the barn door is hilarious. And all they want is electric blankets (the pictures of them at last slumbering in delicious warmth is very funny too.) One wonders, was the story perhaps inspired by George Orwell's Animal Farm? At least this political tale has a happy ending - for the animals at least.

Betsy Lewin's pictures add to comedy, which are simple yet wonderfully expressive.

Watch an animated film version 

If you click here, you can see an eight minute animated film version.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. Published by Simon and Schuster. ISBN: 9780743461511  RRP: $14.99