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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: cows, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 23 of 23
1. Wild Things

Wild Things! is a new book coming out about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories of writing and illustrating picture books.

I contributed a story about Prancing, Dancing Lily—the cow who loved to dance—that didn’t make the cut for the book. However, you can read it on the book’s website here.

 


0 Comments on Wild Things as of 7/18/2014 12:55:00 PM
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2. Findus plants meatballs: gardening disasters to make you and your kids laugh out loud

Have you and your kids ever attempted to grow your own vegetables and failed miserably? Maybe the weather’s contrived against you? Or the slugs have slithered wild and destroyed your crops?

findusmeatballsfrontcoverIf so, perhaps Findus Plants Meatballs by Sven Nordqvist will put a wry smile on your face.

Pettson, a crochety but ultimately kind and charming old man lives on a small homestead in the countryside, with a mischievous cat, Findus, as his only real family. Spring has arrived and it’s time to plant their vegetable patch.

But try as they might, the odds are not in their favour. First the chickens dig up the newly planted seeds. Then a neighbour’s pig escapes and runs riot. Should Findus and Pettson just give up on vegetables altogether? (Many a child reader/listener might well cheer at this point!)

Slapstick humour abounds in this seasonal tale full of optimism and utter chaos. It’s is also great for starting discussions about where food comes from (tying in with the primary school ‘field-to-fork’ topic rather nicely).

Fans already familiar with Pettson and Findus (this is the seventh Findus and Pettson book now translated into English and published by Hawthorne Press) will delight in familiar tropes; the threat of the fox, the problematic fellow farmer Gustavsson, the crazy DIY projects and the mysterious mini magical folk. If you’re new to this utterly delightful Swedish import the ramshackle illustrations teeming with life and laughter will quickly win you over.

findus1

findus2

findus3

findus4

You’ll be infinitely richly rewarded for spending time pouring of the illustrations; even in choosing just a few cameos to share with you today, we’ve discovered many more visual jokes, even though this must be the 20th time we’ve read the book.

Charismatic characters, high jinks, and heart-warming friendship combined with witty, surprising and satisfying illustrations all add up to another winner from Sven Nordqvist.

We’ve been reading this funny book down on our allotment in between planting our vegetables and flowers for this year.

allotment1

allotment2

And just like Findus, the girls said they wanted to see what would happen if they planted meatballs. So I called their bluff, and said that of course they could plant meatballs (along with carrots, onions and beans)…

plantingmeatballs

And thus a new family dinner was created! A field of mashed potato made the most fertile ground for planting sauted onions, carrots, steamed beans, and – of course – some extra special meatballs.

plantingmeatballs

plantingmeatballs2

Whilst planting our meatballs we listened to:

  • On top of spaghetti (all covered in cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed), here sung by Tom Glazer
  • One Meatball by Fred Mollin (from the film Ratatouille) – here’s an older version (lovely, but not quite a jazzy as the Disney version):
  • My Favorite Meatball by Danna Banana (Meatballs the world over unite!)

  • Other great activities to go along with reading Findus Plants Meatballs include:

  • Exploring the garden activities over on NurtureStore. Cathy produces handy month by month guides to getting planting, playing and harvesting with your family.
  • Making some bird houses to put up in your garden. Pettson and Findus’s world is full of little cottages up in the trees and you might find inspiration to add one or two to your outdoor space on this Pinterest board.
  • Creating your own flock of chickens out of old plastic pots. Pettson’s chicks are white, but I do think these from hellokids.com have the right sort of attitude and funkiness to be friends (?!) with Pettson and Findus.
  • Reading How to Grow a Dinosaur by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Ed Eaves. After all, if you can plant meatballs, why not dinosaurs?
  • Have you any vegetable planting horror stories you can share with me? Or enormously successful tales of child-friendly seed sowing?

    Disclaimer: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

    3 Comments on Findus plants meatballs: gardening disasters to make you and your kids laugh out loud, last added: 5/12/2014
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    3. #555 – Minnie & Moo: Hooves of Fire by Denys Cazet

    minnie and moo hooves_page107_image1.

    Minnie and Moo: Hooves of Fire

    by Denys Cazet

    Creston Books     2014

    978-1-939547-08-8

    Age 8 to 12     206 pages

    .

    “It’s a perfect day for the First Annual Hoot, Holler, and Moo Talent Festival. The sun is shining in a warm autumn sky and the stage is set. Mr. and Mrs. Farmer are away on vacation, Minnie and Moo are dressed in their togas, Elvis has his bagpipe, the hyenas their jokes, the fox his magic tricks, the sheep a protest poem, and the cash box is stuffed with money from ticket sales. A perfect day. Wait a minute . . . Where is the cash box? Why are those coyotes on motorcycles? And who pushed those port-a-potties down the hill?”

    Opening

    “It was Indian summer on the farm. The air smelled of damp leaves and fallen apples.”

    The Story

    Minnie and Moo are on the stage looking over their First Annual Hoot, Holler, and Moo Talent Festival when Minnie begins worrying. Whenever Minnie thinks, she worries. First up on the stage are Zeke and Zack, formerly conjoined turkeys, to sing a turkey poem in two-part harmony. Wait, who is that with the greasy, slicked back hair pushing the turkeys off stage. It’s Elvis the rooster, with an ego bigger than the farm. He will steal the show all day long and when kicked off, again, he will go reluctantly with two words, “Geeze Louize.”

    Meanwhile the coyotes are starting trouble, the weasels are conniving, and both want the cash box that is supposed to buy the farmer a new tractor. Throughout the day little catastrophes will occur. Moo will take it all in stride sure things will work out. Minnie worries. She wants to call off the festival. Now the hyenas have joined the coyotes and the weasels and that means just more trouble for Minnie to worry about . . . but then the cash box does go missing. It’s those hyenas, or those coyotes, or those weasels, or maybe all three. Minnie and Moo must get the money back, clean up the festival grounds, and get back to their animal homes before Mr. and Mrs. Farmer return home, just hours from now. Will they make it, or will all the hard work be for naught and Minnie right, they should have canceled the festival?

    1a

    Review

    Minnie and Moo are quite a pair. They complement each other. One is of the mind that everything will work out fine, the other worries about everything. They are also two of the funniest cows in togas middle grade readers will ever meet. The cast of characters are right out of a slapstick movie. Most are the good guys, but then there are the bad guys who only want the moneybox. Then there is Elvis, a rooster performer that tries to steal and keep the stage as long as possible. Jokes are plenty, slapstick flies all over the stage, and sarcasm will have kids rolling on the floor. The animals have their eccentricities, all played for laughs.

    The writing is very good. The author uses lots of dialogue, which speeds up the story. Minnie & Moo:  Hooves of Fire is a fast, enjoyable read, with loads of black and white illustrations to help the reader visualize the story. It was never difficult to see in my mind’s eye what was happening, but the illustrations are a nice break from the fast-paced story.

    2

    This is the newest of several Minnie and Moo stories, including Minnie & Moo and the Seven Wonders of the World. This is not a series in the traditional sense. Book 1 does not lead to book 2 into book 3 . . ., instead each are separate stories that stand on their own. The one advantage to reading the first book is knowing the characters, and there are a lot of them, prior to starting Hooves of Fire. Marketed as a middle grade book, Minnie & Moo:  Hooves of Fire could easily have been an early reader. The vocabulary is not difficult, nor is the plot hard to follow. Reluctant readers might even find Minnie and Moo an agreeable read.

    I fell in love with these two adorable cows who only want to help their farmer get a needed tractor. The weasels are wonderful as villains with trickery, smart-aleck remarks, and a talent for smooth talking Moo into complacency—until Minnie begins to think and worry. Kids will find Minnie & Moo:  Hooves of Fire fun, funny, and frivolous in a good way. This is the kind of story a teacher could read aloud, one chapter at a time, with students eager for the next chapter. If these two moos are not the stars of a third book, I will miss them.

     

    MINNIE & MOO: HOOVES OF FIRE. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Denys Cazet. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Creston Books, Berkeley, CA.

    .26

    Learn more about Minnie & Moo:  Hooves of Fire HERE.

    Buy your copy of Minnie & Moo:  Hooves of Fire at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryCreston Booksyour local bookstore.

    .

    Meet the author / illustrator, Denys Cazet, at his blog:    http://www.dailypretzel.com/

    Find ore books at publisher Creston Books’ website:    http://www.crestonbooks.co/

    .

    Also by Denys Cazet

     

    Elvis the Rooster Almost Goes to Heaven

    Elvis the Rooster Almost Goes to Heaven

    Minnie & Moo and the Seven Wonders of the World

    Minnie & Moo and the Seven Wonders of the World

     

    Minnie and Moo: Wanted Dead or Alive

    Minnie and Moo: Wanted Dead or Alive

    .

    .

     

     

     

     

    hooves of fire


    Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: children's book reviews, cows, Creston Books, Denys Cazet, farms, festivals, humor, light-hearted fare, slapstick, weasels coyotes and hyenas

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    4. a cow inspired by the Stenberg Brothers, and puzzled for IF

    The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is, puzzled. You might be puzzled about my image until you learn more about the inspiration behind it (unless you area Russian avant-garde movie poster buff). The cow in the picture is puzzled as to why her hooves are in a different part of the picture and why she has two tails! She’s also a bit scared about what that means. The image itself reminds me a bit of a puzzle, in that it looks like you need to rearrange the pieces for it to make sense. Here is my puzzled moo:

    This picture is a new version of an old image I did in 2004. When I heard the prompt this week was puzzled, I immediately thought of this image because it’s always reminded me of a puzzle in the way it looks and how I pieced it together the first time. The original image was done February 26, 2004, as part of a year long project. For a whole year (366 days because it was leap year), I drew/painted a cow a day. This image came towards the end of the project, when I was trying to find more creative ways to draw my daily cows. Here’s my first image:

    I’ve always liked this drawing … probably because I always liked the poster that inspired it. When I was trying to think of a cow to draw that day, I remembered a movie poster by the Stenberg Brothers and decided it would look cool with a cow instead of a person. Here’s the Stenberg Brothers poster for the 1929 movie A Fragment Of An Empire:

    My first image is almost a direct representation of the original, although bovine themed and with English words. The one I did today still recalls the original, but when you look at them side by side, they’re very different. The new image is closer to my style both now and when I used to be an abstract painter.

    My style was, and still is, influenced by graphic images in advertising and art. In 2008 I did another series of cows that played with the idea of using a single cow and a simple palette to create multiple graphic images. They aren’t directly related to any art or artist, but the style is influenced by graphic art images. Here’s the first cow:

    And here’s a sample of the cows I created off of this one image and turned into my own poster. I actually like them better all together, rather than as separate images. Still need to get this poster framed …

    BTW, I first fell in love with the Stenberg Brothers when MOMA held an exhibition of their art. I w

    5 Comments on a cow inspired by the Stenberg Brothers, and puzzled for IF, last added: 4/16/2012
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    5. sunny day with a rainy day feel

    Do you ever have one of those sunny days that just feels like rain? Or a day where you should feel happy but you’re a bit sad? Today was like that on both counts, so I dug out one of my old paintings (from 2003). It fits how I feel and how the weather is today:

    Wet Cows

    Wet Cows

    The colors are happy but the cows look wet (probably because I started the picture with watercolor crayons and then held it out in the rain). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow will be a sunny and happy kind of day! If it’s not, maybe I’ll paint another picture. Art usually cheers me up :)

    Update: I looked outside right after I posted this and it’s just starting to rain! See, I knew it felt like rain today.

    1 Comments on sunny day with a rainy day feel, last added: 4/21/2010
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    6. Multitasking and Achieving Your Dreams (plus a WIP excerpt)

    I’ve been thinking about time management a lot lately, while watching TV*, spending time online and working on my zombie novel. Apparently all this multitasking seeped into my WIP,** in the form of my subconscious, telling me to get my BIC*** and concentrate on my writing. What’s the line from my WIP?

    Unfortunately, things that you want to be real are usually dreams, and things that you hope are nightmares can turn out to be real.

    Yep. Even the zombies are telling me I need to concentrate on one thing and work at it to make my dreams come true (otherwise they will only remain dreams and the nightmare will be reality). Not everyone would read the sentence and think it means more BIC time, however, I know how my Muse works. It’s telling me that if I don’t do what it wants, it will abandon me to my Evil Inner Editor, and I don’t want that. Seriously. My Evil Inner Editor is a shape-shifting demon that turns into what currently scares me. He uses that form to bash my ideas and writing skills, which turns me into a puddle of jelly. Nobody wants to be around a blob of jelly with eyes, especially when it’s mint jelly. [Shudder.]

    Help, I've been turned into a mint jelly blob! Again.

    Help, I've been turned into a mint jelly blob! Again.

    Is multitasking always such a bad thing? No.****

    When multitasking works:
    If you’re multitasking and still getting your work done and spending quality time with your family, then congratulations, whatever you’re doing is working! (How do you make it all work?)

    When multitasking doesn’t work:
    If you’re unable to get your work done because you’re unable to concentrate, or if the only time you spend time with your family is when you’re ignoring them because you’re doing several other things at the same time, it might be a problem.

    Tips for slowing down and single-tasking:

    + Concentrate on one thing at a time.
    (This could help speed things up, improve the quality of your work, or allow you to finally complete your project. You might even enjoy what you’re doing more, too.)

    + Handle things only once, if possible.
    (Respond to emails after reading them, read articles, magazines or newspapers, then file them or get rid of them.)

    + Have a schedule.
    (Use each scheduled time for the activity you’ve chosen, so you know you can concentrate on that one thing. You also don’t have to fit in other things because you know you’ve scheduled them for later.)

    Tips for times when multitasking is necessary:

    + Use TV commercial breaks to get things done.
    (Load the dishwasher, read an article, or write an email during breaks. Try to do activities that can be easily picked up again if you don’t finish before the show comes back on.)

    Moo TV.

    Moo TV.

    + Use multiple updates.
    (Sometimes you can update several online things at once, like Twitter and Facebook.)

    + Watch your favorite shows during meal times.
    (This doesn’t work for everyone, or for all the meals you eat each day, but it can work. It allows you to keep watching your favorite shows and not feel guilty about the time spent watching them.)

    + Do something that takes brainpower at the same time as something mindless.
    (For instance, listen to a book on tape while you clean the house, or have game night with the family while yo

    9 Comments on Multitasking and Achieving Your Dreams (plus a WIP excerpt), last added: 5/3/2010
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    7. The Cow Loves Cookies

    The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Marcellus Hall

    Told in a jaunty rhyme, this book shows life on a farm through a funny, quirky lens.  Farmer feeds each animal every day.  The horse eats hay.  The chickens eat chicken feed.  The geese eat corn.  The pig eats slop.  The dog loves doggie treats.  As each animal is introduced along with the food it eats, the chorus chimes in with “the cow loves cookies.”  Then with each new animal, the previous ones are added to the rhyme, forming a fun, cumulative tale.  In the end, the reader will be pleased to find out exactly how the cow got a taste for cookies. 

    This book is made to read aloud with its great rhymes that never grow stale and the wonderful rhythm that is built into them.  Even better, there is that chorus line that children will love to help repeat.  Hall’s illustrations echo the light-hearted tone of the text with their free flowing style and friendliness.  They are also large enough to work well with a group of children.

    Add this one to your storytime reads for barnyard books.  Perhaps even concluding the stories with some cookies, you know that the children love cookies!  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

    Reviewed from copy received from McElderry Books.

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    8. Ice Cream Cows: Dessert for IF

    The theme for Illustration Friday this week was dessert, so of course I thought, “Ice Cream!” Then I remembered that I did a series of images with cows and ice cream a while back for Project Cow (I drew a cow a day for a year; it was leap year, so there were 366 cows) and also for my cafepress shop. Feast your eyes on the ice cream cows!

    Mint and Chocolate Cow

    Mint and Chocolate Cow

    The mint chocolate cow is my favorite of the series. The cow is chocolate with mint spots and the ice cream is mint with chocolate chips.

    Sherbet Cows

    Sherbet Cows

    It seems like you can’t get just plain orange sherbet these days but everyone has rainbow sherbet. I broke out the flavors in this drawing of sherbet cows.

    Neapolitan Cow

    Neapolitan Cow

    Funny story about the Neapolitan cow:  when I put the drawing on t-shirts in my shop, I didn’t realize that I’d made a typo. In fact, I didn’t realize it until I my mom ordered a t-shirt and I saw her wearing it. Ack! Luckily, nobody else ordered the misspelled version and it has since been corrected.

    Marble Swirl

    Marble Swirl

    I had so much fun making the Neapolitan cow that I flipped it and added a swirl of chocolate and caramel!

    Ice Cream Sandwich Cow

    Ice Cream Sandwich Cow

    How can you have ice cream cows without having an ice cream sandwich cow? You can’t. Therefore I made this drawing. This cow has a fraternal twin with cookies and cream instead of ice cream.

    Raspberry Parfait

    Raspberry Parfait

    Last, but not least is the raspberry parfait cow. I have to admit that whenever I hear Prince’s song, Raspberry Beret, this is what I think of. The lyrics are changed in my head to: “She ate a raspberry parfait, the kind you’d find in an ice cram store. Raspberry parfait …” Sorry Prince!

    I hope my ice cream cows made you scream for ice cream! Well not

    8 Comments on Ice Cream Cows: Dessert for IF, last added: 9/12/2010
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    9. Linked Up: Book Dominoes, Vegans, Ghosts

    [Insert witticism here.]

    Book Dominoes FTW! [Urlesque]

    This week in unnecessarily large versions of unhealthy foods… [Good]

    Esquire thinks we can balance the federal budget in 3 days. Good luck with that one, guys. [Esquire]

    Type in your own handwriting! [Pilot via GalleyCat]

    If you didn’t already know, being vegan is hard. [Gizmodo]

    A new blog of short essays. [BOTA]

    Former OUPblogger “Johnny” in his Halloween costume… [Bravo TV]

    Are you ready to be Super Duper/Epic on Foursquare??? [Mashable]

    IKEA gets into the cookbook biz. [Trendland]

    “51% of Americans would live with a ghost as long as rent were free, while 27% would share space with a spectre for a 50% reduction in rent.” [USA Today via The Awl]

    0 Comments on Linked Up: Book Dominoes, Vegans, Ghosts as of 1/1/1900
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    10. Playing Hide and Seek in pictures and words

    I first came across author and illustrator Ellie Sandall last summer when her debut picture book, Birdsong, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Award 2010. Birdsong’s stunningly beautiful, gentle and colourful illustrations made a powerful impression, and I immediately marked her name down as one to watch in the future.

    So when I saw that Ellie’s second book, Daisy plays Hide-and-Seek came out at the start of May I was very keen to take a look…

    Jake and his bovine friend, Daisy, play hide and seek. You’d think finding a large cow wouldn’t be that difficult, but Daisy is no ordinary cow. In fact she’s somewhat of a chameleon, able to change her hide (no pun intended!) to blend in with the background. Jake looks in low places, high places, wet places and dry places but, despite his best efforts, he cannot find his friend.

    Finally Jake can think of only one more place Daisy might be – in the field full of cows. But is she there?

    This gorgeous, gentle book about the delights – and frustrations – of playing hide and seek is perfect for a quiet, calm storytime. Ellie’s illustrations are highly textured, full of soft colour and kids and adults alike will love looking for Daisy on each page. If your children enjoyed the game of finding Halibut Jackson, I’m sure they’ll love this book!

    Another thing I like about this book is that it can be enjoyed by a wide age range of kids. The simple text with plenty of repetition makes it great for the preschool crowd, whilst I think the book could be used well if you’re teaching prepositions, or talking about the senses with slightly older kids. The number of different processes used in creating the beautiful illustrations might inspire even older children to mix and match different techniques in their own artistic creations.

    All in all, whilst we all love a book that allows us to roar and yell, it’s great to have such a beautiful, sunny and peaceful book (with a boy protagonist, to boot) in our story collection.

    Inspired by Daisy’s ability to camouflage herself M and I made our own book of hidden animals. To start with we created a concertina book by sellotaping thin card at opposite ends.

    We then chose matching pieces of patterned paper (we happened to use origami paper, but you could use wrapping paper, or anything you like as long as it has a regular pattern on it), and keeping one piece whole, we cut out animal shapes from the matching piece, and then glued them on to card.

    I’m not great at drawing animals so we googled “animal silh

    3 Comments on Playing Hide and Seek in pictures and words, last added: 5/25/2011
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    11. Sue Sews Six Thousand Socks: Swamp for IF and Dr. Seuss

    All this month I’ve been paying tribute to Dr. Seuss by creating a Seuss themed image combined with the Illustration Friday prompt. For the previous weeks, I tried to incorporate Seuss’s style into my art.

    This week, however, I’ve moved away from his art to show my style.

    The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is Swamp. I combined that with Sue from Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. (Sue is SWAMPED with sock orders and has to sew six thousand socks!) Fox in Socks is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, and I’ve always liked Sue, so it was fun to re-imagine this part of the book. In case you’re not familiar with the original, here’s what Mr. Fox says when Sue enters the book:

    New socks.
    Two socks.
    Whose socks?
    Sue’s socks.
     
    Who sews whose socks?
    Sue sews Sue’s socks.

    My Sue has similar hair and clothes to the one in Fox in Socks, but she likes polka-dots and sewing lots of socks. They’re not all for her though, because really, who needs 3000 pairs of socks? Not Sue. You’d be swamped if you had to sew six thousand socks too! (Note: not all 6000 socks are pictured here, because that would have made me more than swamped. It would have made me crazy to draw that many in such a short time.)

    Who is Sue sewing socks for? I’m glad you asked.

    Sue sews Sue’s socks, because with that many, at least some of them have to be for her!
    Sue sews Moo’s socks, because Moo helps keep the thread from tangling.
    Sew sews Lou’s socks. (Lou is the dove on Moo’s back, the one saying, “coo coo.”)
    Sue sews Who’s socks, right away, because Who has owl things to do.
    Sue sews Foo’s socks (a.k.a. Bunny Foo-Foo).
    Sue sews Boo’s socks … not really, ghosts don’t wear socks (or at least Boo doesn’t).

    The original sketch had a few more characters, but it got too crowded. Here’s a close up of the bunny:

    Bunny Foo-Foo was fun to draw and I love how his socks turned out. Another character that was fun to draw was Moo:

    You can tell by the expression on her face that she thinks Sue is crazy for trying to sew six thousand socks, or maybe she is getting sick of having thread wrapped around her horns. Moo has striped socks because I thought they’d be a nice contrast to her spots and I liked how the blue and white stripes looked on her. It’s hard to see, but Lou also has striped socks. They’re blue and yellow.

    If someone asked you to sew six thousand socks, would you do it?

    I wouldn’t. I leave the sock sewing to Sue!

    4 Comments on Sue Sews Six Thousand Socks: Swamp for IF and Dr. Seuss, last added: 3/28/2012

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    12. KID REVIEW: Dharma knows “It’s Milking Time”

    Wisconsin has a lot of cows.

    And while I’ve never owned one myself, I’ve certainly seen herds of them grazing as I’ve driven down the highway. I’ve even met several up close and personal at various dairy-themed school, summer camp and community events.

    Even in the bustling metropolis of Madison, Wisconsin, one can’t escape cows completely. Once a year, there’s a Cows on the Concourse event where cows are brought in to graze around the state capital building and meet their adoring public.

    And, an annual Dairy Expo featuring all things bovine draws enough traffic that entire lanes of the beltline are dedicated to its attendees.

    Today’s guest reviewer doesn’t live on a farm, but she’s certainly familiar with cows. That’s why she enjoyed Phyllis Alsdurf’s picture book It’s Milking Time (Random House, 2012). The book is a warm and wonderful look at life on a dairy farm. It features a girl and her dad milking their herd of cows — every morning and every night.

    Cows are collected from the field, led into the barn, fed, milked and cleaned up after. Then, the milk is sent to the dairy where it’s turned into butter, cheese or the the milk most of us buy at the grocery store. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher’s artwork is cozy. The cows seem like family friends. And the Holstein-inspired end papers are beautiful.

    Now, let’s hear from Dharma.

    Today’s reviewer: Dharma.

    Age: 7

    I like: Math, going to the children’s museum, my reading buddies and watching “Dancing With the Stars.”

    This book was about: A girl’s job milking cows.

    The best part was when: She named the calf Buddy.

    I laughed when: They said they tapped the cows on the rear ends to keep them moving.

    I was surprised when: The girl shoveled manure into the gutters.

    This book taught me: You can skim cream off fresh milk.

    My favorite line or phrase in the book was: “We swat rumps to keep them moving to the same places every time.”

    Thanks, Dharma!

    Phyllis Alsdurf, the author, grew up on a Minnesota dairy farm. She even dedicated this book to her father and one of his favorite cows, Jay-Jay.

    Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, the illustrators, have illustrated more than 35 books. You can visit their website to see more of their work. You also can read this interview to learn more about how they work together.

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    13. Cowlick!


    Cowlick!
    Author: Christin Ditchfield
    Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw
    Publisher: Golden Books
    ISBN-10: 0375835407
    ISBN-13: 978-0375835407

    Cowlick! is a completely charming and beautiful book. The rhyming is rhythmic and funny as well as playful. I loved the feel of it when it was read aloud. The story is about two little boys that fall asleep with smoothly combed hair and wake with wild cowlicks.

    "To the bedside she comes sneaking/Lifting covers, gently peeking/Sees a face so soft and sweet/Framed with hair so smooth and neat…."

    The explanation is that a cow sneaks into the room at night giving slurpy, wet kisses that sweep the hair up into an unmanageable tangle. It’s a great, silly story and a pretty good explanation for what happens to hair in the night. My granddaughter laughed and laughed.

    The illustrations are beautiful, textured and fun. The colors are bold, the cow is adorable on the pages as she comes sneaking, skulking in the night.

    The packaging to the book is great as well with a textured big slurp going right across the cover. This book is sure to become a favorite both for the fun silliness of it, the bouncy rhyme and gorgeous illustrations.



    Book Description from the publisher
    . . . She comes in the middle of the night, when everyone is sleeping. When she sees a smooth little head on a pillow, she can't resist giving it a cow kiss—sluuurrrp! Cowlick! gives young readers an imaginative and playful explanation for the "bedhead" that afflicts us all!

    About the Author

    Christin Ditchfield is a former preschool and elementary school teacher. She's now a popular speaker and host of the internationally syndicated inspirational radio program "Take It to Heart!" A prolific writer of magazine articles and columns for CBA publications, she's also the author of nearly 50 books, including A Family Guide to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Cowlick! is her first picture book. She lives in Sarasota, Florida.

    About the Illustrator

    Rosalind Beardshaw has illustrated dozens of picture books for the British and European market since she graduated from Manchester Polytechnic in 1992. In her spare time, she works as a volunteer with adults with learning disabilities. She lives in York, England.

    0 Comments on Cowlick! as of 3/14/2007 12:44:00 AM
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    14. Thursday promenade

    A fresh morning with a damp breeze wafting perfumed billows across the fields...




    One of a pair of boxing hares, too far away for my little snapper to get a decent shot. Not seeing me, being hidden in a dip in the meadow I managed to get quite close before it lolloped cautiously away through the dandelions.





    The summer wheat bursting skywards.




    The dainty print of a roe hind, recently passed through -





    The hawthorn hedges bowed with heady blossoms -





    Drowsy cattle at the back of the flour mill.



    and home for breakfast.

    13 Comments on Thursday promenade, last added: 5/22/2007
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    15. cows



    Trying to do some illustrations for kids.

    3 Comments on cows, last added: 11/15/2007
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    16. Kissed by a Cow

    How are revisions like being kissed by a cow?

    Please leave your answers in the comments because as desperately as I would like to relate this post to writing or books, and as neck-deep in revisions as I am at this moment, and as recently as I have been quite close to some Holsteins---even I don't know the answer.

    I just wanted to post this picture from my recent trip to Tennessee.




    All that's missing is my devilish laugh.

    Oh, wait! I thought of something bookish: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type.

    But you can do better. How, I ask you again, are revisions like being kissed by a cow?

    12 Comments on Kissed by a Cow, last added: 6/1/2008
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    17. Farm Animals


    ©KathleenRietz
    I have completed 5 children's books this year: 2 trade publications and 3 readers. I am about to begin illustrating a coloring book, which will accompany the successful book "The ABCs of Yoga for Kids", which was released this past March. I decided to begin adding black line art images to my portfolio a while back, and hope to pick up more work illustrating coloring books. It's a nice change of pace, since there are no colors to be concerned with, but rather I can focus on line weight and have fun just drawing. Right now I am working on a series of farm animals. I have added several new updates to my website, mainly in my illustration portfolios, so be sure to check it out.

    7 Comments on Farm Animals, last added: 8/1/2009
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    18. Illustration Friday: Welcome (committee)

    I just finished this painting last night and thought it fit well with today’s Illustration Friday topic, welcome. These cows are the welcome committee for the herd.

    The black line is all acrylic because I wanted it to be really dark. The color is watercolor, using layers of different color to make the orange, purple and green spots. I really like using the real color or a color I’ve mixed before hand, so this was a challenge for me to accept what the colors looked like after layering. I like the effect, but I think it would have looked good using bright green, orange and purple too. 

     

    Meet the welcoming committee. Moo.

    Meet the welcoming committee. Moo.

    If you are a watercolor painter, do you like mixing colors by layering or do you prefer to mix them before you paint?

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    19. WaWe: Class Halloween Party (a sponge painting)

    I painted this one with cut up sponges (except the vampire). I painted the vampire with brushes to set him apart from the rest of the class. I thought the texture would be fun, and it is, except that the painting was too small (8.5 x 11) or the sponges were too big to make it look the way I wanted it to. Still, it’s something I might play around with again in the future, or use brushes to try to re-create the texture. 

    Eddie was out sick the day Ms. MacDonald’s class decided to dress up as farm animals for the class party. Everyone forgot to tell Eddie when he came back.

    Ms. MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

    Ms. MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

     The chicken costume is my favorite. :)

    0 Comments on WaWe: Class Halloween Party (a sponge painting) as of 10/21/2009 2:01:00 PM
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    20. The Middle Man


    My middle brother has always been charmed. He was a natural athlete seemingly at birth, a talented artist barely out of babyhood, and never experienced those unattractively awkward physical stages. My siblings and I look enough alike to tell we came from the same mold, but somehow Todd got it just right from the beginning. He is now a world-traveling, multilingual, published author, but he started out as the little brother who still wasn’t a sister but was pretty darn cute. When he was born, my oldest younger brother and I were at my grandparents’ house in Reseda. My mom wanted all of us to get started on a positive note, so she tucked a present for each of us to open each day she was gone into our suitcase. I don’t recall what any of them were but I do remember thinking that any baby who came bearing gifts couldn’t be all bad. Todd came to a household fixated on the written word, so it’s no surprise he was an early reader, but it is a bit surprising that he chose a story about an underachiever as his first independently read book. In Jean Bethell’s The Clumsy Cowboy, Clyde can’t stay on his horse, walk in cowboy boots, or earn the respect of the townsfolk. Fortunately for the sad little cowpoke, he finds Daisy the cow and they are best friends before you can say “catch the bank robbers.” I think Todd liked seeing how the other half live.



    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+clumsy+cowboy&x=0&y=0


    http://www.jacketflap.com/persondetail.asp?person=71210

    1 Comments on The Middle Man, last added: 3/2/2010
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    21. greeting card / game - sruble

    I’ve been painting tiny pictures lately (see the elephant here and the bunnies here), in order to fit painting for fun into my schedule. My third tiny painting was a girl blowing a bubble with her bubblegum. I broke out my watercolors and colored pencils and painted a picture so horrible that I had to rip it up. Seriously. All it takes to ruin a small watercolor painting is a couple of misplaced brush strokes. However, I still liked the sketch, so I made the bubblegum girl into a digital illustration. The image is 2″ x 2″ like the paintings.

    Bubblegum Girl

    I like how she turned out, but I still wanted to paint something. A picture of a cow blowing a bubblegum bubble seemed like a fun take on the original, and worked out well, because it fits several art prompts all at once (see list below the picture). I used watercolor and colored pencil to make the image. I’m happy with the way both pictures turned out, but I have to say, the more I look at them, the weirder they look. Of course, if you looked at a photograph showing a side view of someone blowing a bubblegum bubble, that would probably look weird after a while, too.

    Bubblegum Cow

    The CBIG prompt this month is fantasy – a cow blowing bubblegum bubbles is definitely fantasy! Bubblegum Girl also works for fantasy. She wants to blow the biggest bubble ever and win the national bubblegum bubble blowing contest (which they actually have – I saw it on TV a couple of years ago).

    The Watercolor Wednesdays prompt for last week was to create a greeting card image for a child – the bubblegum sort of looks like a speech balloon, where the cow could say, “Happy Birthday!” Bubblegum Girl also works for this week’s prompt, to illustrate a favorite toy or game … not that gum qualifies as a toy, but trying to blow the biggest bubble could be a game, so I think that counts (or at least it works for me – I went to art school; I can justify anything).

    The Illustration Friday prompt this week is brave – that cow is really brave to be blowing bubblegum bubbles. What if it pops and goes all over her face? Bubblegum Girl also works for brave. She knows what will happen if the bubble as big as her head pops!

    Are tiny paintings the next big thing? Maybe not, but I’m having fun with them :)

    6 Comments on greeting card / game - sruble, last added: 3/13/2010
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    22. bubblegum cows and bubblegum girl

    I’ve been painting tiny pictures lately (see the elephant here and the bunnies here), in order to fit painting for fun into my schedule. My third tiny painting was a girl blowing a bubble with her bubblegum. I broke out my watercolors and colored pencils and painted a picture so horrible that I had to rip it up. Seriously. All it takes to ruin a small watercolor painting is a couple of misplaced brush strokes. However, I still liked the sketch, so I made the bubblegum girl into a digital illustration. The image is 2″ x 2″ like the paintings.

    Bubblegum Girl

    Bubblegum Girl

    I like how she turned out, but I still wanted to paint something. A picture of a cow blowing a bubblegum bubble seemed like a fun take on the original, and worked out well, because it fits several art prompts all at once (see list below the picture). I used watercolor and colored pencil to make the image. I’m happy with the way both pictures turned out, but I have to say, the more I look at them, the weirder they look. Of course, if you looked at a photograph showing a side view of someone blowing a bubblegum bubble, that would probably look weird after a while, too.

    Bubblegum Cow

    Bubblegum Cow

    The CBIG prompt this month is fantasy – a cow blowing bubblegum bubbles is definitely fantasy! Bubblegum Girl also works for fantasy. She wants to blow the biggest bubble ever and win the national bubblegum bubble blowing contest (which they actually have – I saw it on TV a couple of years ago).

    The Watercolor Wednesdays prompt for last week was to create a greeting card image for a child – the bubblegum sort of looks like a speech balloon, where the cow could say, “Happy Birthday!” Bubblegum Girl also works for this week’s prompt, to illustrate a favorite toy or game … not  that gum qualifies as a toy, but trying to blow the biggest bubble could be a game, so I think that counts (or at least it works for me – I went to art school; I can justify anything).

    The Illustration Friday prompt this week is brave – that cow is really brave to be blowing bubblegum bubbles. What if it pops and goes all over her face? Bubblegum Girl also works for brave. She knows what will happen if the bubble as big as her head pops!

    Are tiny paintings the next big thing? Maybe not, but I’m having fun with them :)

    3 Comments on bubblegum cows and bubblegum girl, last added: 3/11/2010
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    23. Bull

    On a pleasant autumn day, Mitch Reynolds stepped out of the Department of Agriculture, his briefcase packed with papers. He attempted to take a deep breath of fresh air, search his jacket for his bicycle clip, descend the stairs, all at the same time. He heard the door open behind him, a voice call his name. He turned, backed into a young woman coming up the stairs.
    Suddenly, Mitch was stumbling, falling. The girl retained her balance but scattered her files, all over the steps.
    “Oh...oh...sorry...” Mitch crawled around, helped her pick up the files. The woman stuck her silent nose in the air, resumed her climb.
    Bob Fagan joined him at the bottom of the stairs, laughing at Mitch’s misfortune. They turned to watch the young woman’s behind.
    “Ooh, look at that. Hey nice move, buddy. I’m tellin you Mitch, never get married”
    They turned to walk toward the parking lot.
    “Hey, how come you’re out early?”
    “New job. I finally got an outside assignment. How about you?” Mitch had found his bicycle clip again. Bob watched as Mitch gathered his trousers to apply the clip.
    “Beth’s preggers again, I’ve got to take three of the kids to the dentist while she’s at the doctor’s” Bob waited for Mitch to unlock his bike. They walked through the parking lot.
    Bob was a big man with five children. Beth was very fertile. Their brood seemed ever expanding.
    They parted at Bob’s van, Mitch mounted his bicycle. He took his time pedalling on the bike path, admiring the green fields in the autumn sunlight, giant trees blowing in the breeze. The path led him through the Experimental farm to the barn of The Beef Cattle Exposition.
    The barn was surrounded by pens of cattle of different breeds, the office inside it. The walls of the small room were covered with posters about cattle. There was a rack on one wall which contained pamphlets, brochures and magazines about cattle. A small desk, covered with more cattle information, stood, with two chairs, at one end of the room. There was no one around. Mitch saw a door behind the desk which led further into the barn. He stepped through it. A stronger smell of cattle hit him.
    Mitch looked down the length of the barn. He saw that most of the stalls were occupied by cattle, one, halfway down, also contained a person. Mitch made his way to it.
    The sign on the open stall door read, VENUS. Walter James, the facility manager, stood leaning on one wall of the stall, beside a cow. He was a pleasant looking, balding man, much larger than Mitch, dressed in jeans and a work shirt, holding a brown, paper bag in one hand. He smiled, held out his hand.
    “Mr. James?” Mitch, extending his hand. “Walter. You must be Mitch Reynolds. Good to finally see who I’ve been talking about for the past few months” Walter James shook Mitch’s hand with his empty one. He was referring to the many conversations he he’d had with Mitch’s superiors concerning this new project.
    “This here’s the star of your show” Walter indicated the cow. “Venus”
    Mitch stared at the rear end of the cow. He followed Walter toward the front of her, jumping into a cow pie, when she turned her head toward him.
    Walter laughed. Mitch shook his foot in the air.
    “Ha. You’ll have to watch out for that. Just scrape your shoe on some straw. Pistachio?” Walter smiled at Mitch, offered the bag.

    0 Comments on Bull as of 1/1/1900
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