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THE COW WHO CLUCKED by Denise Fleming

THE COW WHO CLUCKED

By Denise Fleming

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8050-7265-9
Publisher: Henry Holt

When Cow wakes up one morning, she finds that she cannot moo: She clucks, instead. Off she goes on a barnyard quest to find her moo, asking in turn Dog, Bee, Cat, Fish and so on throughout the day, until she finds Hen mooing back in the barn. The simple tale is perfect for preschoolers, with its easy (but never boring) predictability and Cow’s plaintive refrain: “It is not you who has my moo.” Easy animal sounds—meow, quack, squeak—share space with less familiar ones—chee (squirrel), glub (fish), maa (goat)—mixing in such a way as to both bolster kids’ confidence and challenge them gently. The illustrations are vintage Fleming, Van Gogh-inspired endpapers framing the jewel-toned daytime action, all done in her distinctive pulp-painting technique. Three little chicks, obviously as confused as Cow is, follow her as she clucks through the barnyard in a silent, humorous subplot, to be happily reunited with Hen by firefly light. The trope of mixed-up animal languages is hardly new, but this offering is a sweet addition to the genre. (Picture book. 3-6)