Perfect Picture Book Friday – Kiss The Cow!

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday once again.  If you’re casting about for a little smackerel to go with today’s story, I would have to recommend chocolate milk 🙂

(And please stay tuned after the book for an update on Phyllis’s World Tour and a fun activity for kids!)

Kiss The Cow!
Written By: Phyllis Root
Illustrated By: Will Hillenbrand
Candlewick Press, 2000, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: curiosity, behavior (stubborness), gratitude, kindness

Opening:  “Mama May lived where the earth met the sky, and her house was as wide as the prairie.  It needed to be.  Mama May had so many children she couldn’t count them all.  Among Mama May’s children was one called Annalisa. She wasn’t the youngest, and she wasn’t the oldest, but she was the most curious and the most stubborn.”

Brief Synopsis: Every day, Annalisa watches her Mama milk Louella the magic cow.  Magic words make Louella’s milk flow.  More magic words make it stop.  And always, always, Mama finishes by kissing the cow.  Annalisa begins to wonder.  What would it be like to milk a magic cow?  Before you know it, her curiosity has gotten the better of her.  Against her mother’s wishes, she milks Louella.  But she forgets the kiss with disastrous results!

Links To Resources:  Here are some Facts About Cows, All About Cows For Kids with links to video clips on cheese and butter making as well as printables, songs and poems, stories and more, and Pictures Of Cows along with links to information of all kinds.

Why I Like This Book:  This book is very reminiscent of Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola in its plot and structure.  As such, they are a great pair to read together so kids can see the similarities and differences.  Both offer lessons in not taking things for granted.  This story has a delightfully stubborn main character (if you have kids, you’ve probably met her :)) who learns that generosity must be repaid with gratitude and kindness, but she comes around in her own way and her own time.  The art is very bright and engaging – who could resist that cow with her gorgeous long eyelashes?  The rhyme of magic words is fun to read and say.  Just an all-round fun book!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, before you all rush off to your weekends, I just want to let you know that everyone’s favorite groundhog has been a busy girl this week!  I hope you saw her visits with Beth in Saskatchewan and Erik in Philadelphia earlier this week.  And in case you might have missed it since it was a non-posting day for me, she was in both Abilene, Texas with Penny and Nice, France with Joanna yesterday!  Rumor has it she is back in California with Elizabeth today, as well as on her way to Maine and another location in California (apparently she loves The Golden State – she may never come home :)) so more fun posts should be on the way next week!  (Especially because she is also journeying to New Zealand and Italy and who knows when she’ll get there – it could be any time!!!)  Here’s a little sampling of the fun:

Phyllis trying to convince Beth to let her drive the John Deere in Saskatchewan
Phyllis trying to convince Erik to let her ring the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia
Phyllis trying to convince the street player to let her have a turn with the accordion in France during her stay with Joanna
Phyllis having convinced Penny to let her ride off into the Texas sunset on an armadillo 🙂

For any teachers who might be reading this post, there is a Phyllis dress-up activity on my website which can be printed on paper or card stock (for free download.)  The Phyllis figure can be colored and cut out (don’t worry about the dress up extras for this activity) and makes a perfect, easily portable (or mailable) Phyllis!  She can travel with students when they go on Easter break soon, or be mailed to a pen pal class, or students’ relatives all over the USA and the world to gather weather reports, photos, or any other fun activity you and your class can dream up (a la Flat Stanley.)  If you do anything with her, please let me know!  I’d love to share it here with other teachers.  (And if you are a parent, please feel free to suggest this idea to your children’s teachers!)

PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific link to the list below, and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and get to enjoy this lovely weather 🙂  See you next week with more exciting adventures from the marmot queen 🙂

68 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Kiss The Cow!

  1. Penny Klostermann says:

    I sent Susanna the new link. I'm sure she will get it up soon. Sooooo sorry. Like I told Susanna–You may not find this as comical as I did….but…I forgot to click on “Publish”. I can't believe that I blogged about Bobby Bramble losing his brain…and then forgot to “Publish”! Oh! My! Goodness! Gracious! Me!

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, that must be hard! What's highest on your wish list? I'll make it the prize for the next contest 🙂

    Renee LaTulippe (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    I always open my Amazon Italy account before reading the reviews, so I can just click over and add books to my cart. There are about 100 in there now, haha. What do I miss? A library with books in English!

    User's profile
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  3. Fats Suela says:

    Hi Susanna! I have a fascination for certain animals, and cows are definitely among them. I like Will Hillenbrand's soft-textured illustrations, and Annalisa seems like a delightful character, in spite of her stubbornness. I like Strega Nona and my boyfriend loved it as a child. Having mentioned the book made Kiss the Cow even more interesting. I'll be sure to check our library for copies. Thanks for your lovely insights. 🙂

  4. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    Wonderful book about a magic cow, Susanna. Will have to look it up in the library. Any book that has the name of Annalisa is special to me as my sisters name is Anneliese, pronounced the same way.

    I love how you keep us informed in Phyliss's where abouts. She is becoming famous that's for sure.

  5. patientdreamer says:

    Why did I say tomie dePaola for??? That was meant for another post for someone else…LOL *face in hands* (can I blame my computor for misbehaving…lol) How embarrasing! I meant I loved, truely loved your magic kissing cow..lol. Someone somewhere has the comment I meant for you…. oh dear! …lol.

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It's completely understandable given that I mentioned him too!

    patientdreamer (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Why did I say tomie dePaola for??? That was meant for another post for someone else…LOL *face in hands* (can I blame my computor for misbehaving…lol) How embarrasing! I meant I loved, truely loved your magic kissing cow..lol. Someone somewhere has the comment I meant for you…. oh dear! …lol.

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