Envy on the farm has animals wishing they could each behave and speak like the other—with inane results.
The cow in the barn observes the horse in the field and thinks, “If I were a horse, I could run free all day.” To emphasize his desire, he lets out a “NEIGH!” (Yes, this cow is gendered male.) The horse, on the other hand, looks at the duck swimming in the pond and laments, “If I were a duck, bet they’d stay off my back.” With that, a “QUACK” bolsters his view. In turn, the duck longs for a winter coat like the sheep, the sheep wants to dig in the mud like the pig, the pig wants to be tough like the guard dog, the dog wants to be inside like the cat, and the cat longs to be a man like the farmer. Each makes the iconic sound of the animal he wishes to be, creating a cacophony of mixed-up noises. After the cat says “Hello,” the surprised farmer decides to join in the fun and produces “a big…MOOOOOO!” Bright paintings in an expressive animated style add to the humor of the rhyming narrative. Preschoolers will surely giggle at the erroneous sounds coming out of each animal and perhaps suppress an urge to correct. The farmer presents white.
Though there’s no real resolution, the concept of pure fun will surely resonate. (Picture book. 4-8)