on February 15, 2004
Understatement is not lost on children. Neither is subtlety (though you probably wouldn't know it when a 2-year old has decided to tell you "the funniest knock knock joke ever"). The creation of an effective picture book for small children has a variety of different tacks it can take, subtle being the most difficult. But "Click, Clack, Moo", is beyond sublime, and it gets away with it too. In it, author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin have penned a delightful story about some dexterous cows with simple demands. In this tale, Farmer Brown's cows have gotten ahold of a typewriter. Now equipped with the means with which they can express themselves, the cows demand electric blankets forthwith. Farmer Brown demurs (by throwing a small fit) so the cows join up with the chickens in demanding blankets for the chickens as well. In the end, a solution is reached and all parties are satisfied with the outcome.
There is a single moment in this book that was, to me, the height of sophistication. After hearing the cows demands, Farmer Brown types up a letter of refusal. We next see a two-page spread of the long road to the barn. A white duck, oversized letter in beak and a left foot poised in the air, walks alone. The text reads, "Duck was a neutral party, so he brought the ultimatum to the cows". I love using the term neutral party in a picture book. I love that extravagant and elaborate word "ultimatum" bandied about a barnyard tale. Every children's book should be so lucky as to have a moment such as this.
Honestly, though I enjoyed the pictures I was not overwhelmed by them. Betsy Levin's style is a simple watercolor utilizing thick black lines and wide open-eyed expressions. That's all well and good, but in some ways I wanted to see something a little more interesting. But that's just me. This book is a fun romp into "what if" territory. Read aloud well, it could capture many a youngsters attention again and again and again.
on April 24, 2014
Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo.
Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows can type!
Dear Farmer Brown,
The barn is very cold at night. We’d like some electric blankets.
“Impossible!” thinks Farmer Brown. “No way,” says Farmer Brown.
Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo, respond the cows.
We’re closed. No milk today.
Well Farmer Brown is nonplussed and if THAT doesn’t take the cake, the hens are cold too.
They’d like electric blankets.
Poor Farmer Brown. The hens have withheld their eggs and Duck, the neutral party, comes waddling in with a typed ultimatum. It’s a great ultimatum for the critters and a DUCKLOAD of trouble for Farmer Brown! Definitely one of the best books I’ve read yet. Silly and imaginative. An unusual premise – some writers have the neatest ideas!
on July 5, 2003
Doreen Cronin's Caldecott award-winning story 'Click, Clack, Moo!' is a delightful and wacky tale of how cows try to get the attention of Farmer Brown who ignores them. The cows feel that the farmer is neglecting them of what they need. So these smart bovines find stashed away in the barn an old typewriter, and they get the idea to type messages to the farmer. They leave them in places to get him to give them blankets when they're cold. They leave them in all sorts of places to remind the farmer of being more responsible. Since Farmer Brown refuses the cows go on strike. The strike puts all of them in a fix and they must meet some agreeable to settle their differences. With the help of an impartial DUCK, it doesn't seem Farmer Brown is out of the forest yet. It seems everyone on the farm gets the hang of it.
This funny story could help parents to teach their kids about give and take, being cooperative and learn to work out things peacefully. The kids will get a kick out of the impartial DUCK. I did. It'll tickle anyone's funnybone over the slapstick antics of the animals. I mean, who can turn down a book of literate cows who get Farmer Brown's barnyard turned all upside down. I recommend this highly!
on November 30, 2001
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type is a very funny book about a herd of cows that happen to stumble overa typewriter one day. Farmer Brown can't believe it when he relizes that his cows can type. To make matters worse they begin to demand electric blankets to keep warm. Farmer Brown refuses to comply, but then the chickens get in on the act too. By the end of the book Farmer Brown is so tired of not having any eggs or milk because of the animals being on strike, he decides to give in to their requests.
This story is filled with vibrant pictures of farmland and farm animals. THe pictures are comical and just plain funny looking. They add so much life to the story that if the words weren't there the pictures could do all the talking.
This book would be good for beginning readers. The words are simple and in large print which makes it easy to read.
The setting of the book is in a farmyard with cows, chickens, and ducks all standing around. It shows where the animals live and where they eat. The plot is basically the animals demanding items and then receiving them after going on strike. This book is so funny how it shows the typewriter being passed around from one animal to the next making their demands.
I would recommend this book to all children!
Click, Clack, Moo recently won the Caldecott award, and is very deserving of that honor. I enthusiastically endorse it for your children aged from 2 through 6. This book will be considered a classic children's tale within five years.
Many great children's books start from the point of view of role reversals. You take objects or animals and make them be like humans. But no one could have developed a funnier idea along those lines than having typing cows who lead a general strike on a farm.
"Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type."
"All day long he hears. Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety clack, moo."
"At first, he couldn't believe his ears."
But it gets worse. One day he receives a typewritten note that says:
"Dear Farmer Brown,
The barn is very cold at night. We'd like some electric blankets.
Farmer Brown makes the mistake of treating the cows like cows. He tells them, "No way." They type up a note and put it on the barn door. "Sorry. We're closed. No milk today."
The next day, another note appeared.
"Dear Farmer Brown,
The hens are cold too. They'd like electric blankets.
The negotiations continue toward a hilarious conclusion.
Each of these letters to Farmer Brown cannot help but inspire gales of uncontrollable laughter among your tykesters. The ending may actually cause laughter-induced pain because it is so hilarious.
The illustrations are particularly appealing. Ms. Lewin has drawn them to be large in features, vivid, bold, and colorful. They make the story more intense by capturing both a sense of movement and the personality of the characters. This is one of the best illustrated stories I have ever seen for preschoolers. That is important, because the illustrations carry a heavy burden as you first read this story to your child. No one has ever seen a typing cow, so the illustrations help fill in the gaps. Naturally, you will see opportunities to handle side issues like "how would a cow type, if a cow could type?"
Interestingly, Ms. Cronin is an attorney who also collects antique typewriters. Anyone who has ever been part of a labor negotiation will quickly recognize the universal truths around which she has structured this delightful story. I suspect that she has been part of one or two.
After you and your child become familiar with the story, I suggest that you think together about what is the right thing to do with regard to animals who do not send you typewritten letters. It is never too early for children to learn about each person's responsibility to live in harmony with our fellow creatures and to properly care for them.
May you always be clear about what you are looking for! Who knows? You may even get it.
on January 20, 2001
I'm 31-years-old and and am proud to say this is currently my most favorite book. It's absolutely hilarious and a delight to read! I laugh out loud every time I read it. The illustrations are quite striking, too. If you haven't taken the time to examine the illustrations closely, you may want to do so. You'll find some little surprises. My sister, a speech language pathologist (and former preschool teacher like myself), reads this book to her students. As I understand it, it's reportedly good for both articulation exercises as well as language development. Best of all, the kids simply love the story. My sister loved the book so much she insisted I read it. I did so, loved it, and consequently held it for "ransom." The majority of my psych colleagues and I even had a midday storytime to share this book with one another. ;) As a former preschool teacher, I can guarantee this book will be a sure-fire attention-getter with kids. As it stands, I consider my library incomplete until I get a copy of this book for my own. I can't wait until Ms. Cronin and Ms. Lewin bless us with another one of their wonderful stories. This book ranks right up there with the Dumb Bunnies in terms of wit and surprise illustrations. Happy reading and laughing!
on October 30, 2000
Farmer Brown is amazed when he realizes his cows have found an old typewriter and are using it. All day long he hears, Click Clack Moo, Click Clack Moo. Then, one day the cows leave a note tacked to the barn door demanding electric blankets...it's cold at night in the barn. Farmer Brown says, NO! The next day, the cows go on strike...NO MILK until we get the blankets. Pretty soon the typing begins again and this time the note tacked to the barn door asks for more electric blankets...the hens are cold too. When Farmer Brown ignores their demands, they go on strike with the cows. NO MILK, NO EGGS. Farmer Brown is beginning to panic. How can he run a farm with the cows and chickens on strike? So he gets out his trusty typewriter and writes a note, telling the cows and hens that he'll give them the blankets, if they turn over their typewriter. The note is delivered by a neutral party, the duck. An agreement is reached and Farmer Brown waits for the duck to bring him the cow's typewriter. Instead he begins to hear, Click Clack Quack, Click Clack Quack! Betsy Cronin has written a very funny, witty story that will amuse and delight your whole family. Her simple, silly story line is complimented perfectly, by Betsy Lewin's charming, expressive illustrations and youngsters will be laughing out loud at the antics of these farm animals. This is a great, imaginative book for kids aged 4-7 and a wonderful addition to all home libraries.
on June 21, 2004
We got this book out of a Cheerios' box during a literacy promotion sponsored by General Mills, and it has become my daughter's favorite. She is just learning to talk, and the simple language in Click Clack Moo is wonderful. Her grandparents and I read to her every day, any book she wants (she really does choose on her own) and ever since we got this book it has been the only one she wants you to read.
3-4 times every day she walks into the room with her blanket in one hand and this book in the other, saying "CLACK CLACK" then climbs into any empty lap to have the book read to her. Once one person is finished reading it, she climbs into the next lap to have it read once again.
This book has been read so many times it is falling apart (it is a simple paper-back with only 2 staples holding it together) and it is time to buy a new one, but since we love it so much I have decided to purchase Giggle Giggle Quack and Duck for President for her also.
on April 11, 2001
I just found this book when I was looking for a Book-of-the Month selection that our Jacksonville Agricultural Fair could sponsor next Fall and I think this is it! Although the content is not about a Fair, but about this farmer's cows who type, it still sets the stage for a school-wide focus on this book. I am sure imaginative teachers will find more ways than we can imagine to relate this to going to the Fair. Our goal is to help the schools meet America's Choice standards, but to also expose an urban student population to animals and other activities at the fair. The story line reads outloud in a wonderful way. I read it to my husband and we both laughed. Another reviewer said that if adults can laugh this much, children will surely love this book. PS: Two elementary principals also were choosing this book at the same time I was, and I trust their judgement about this being a great book--across the ages of all elementary.
on February 4, 2002
The book is mildly amusing, but that's about it. I was very disappointed as the premise held such promise. But the book is overly repetitive (how many times do you have to say Click Clack Moo before it dtrarts to grate? Ferwe than are required by the text, that's for sure), the drawings are not very impressive (too many are too dark and amorphous) and the story, such as it is, doesn't amount to much.
I think most kid's at the lower end of the target age range will like it OK, but for the life of me I can't imagine how anyone familiar with any of the classics of literature aimed at this age group could ever regard this as that sort of effort. It's mediocre at best.
If you want a great book for this target age get Courduroy, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Gregory the Terrible Eater or Bailer Goes Camping--all much better stories that are far less expensive than this book.