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Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type
Reading Level: Ages 3 and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Little Simon; Pap/Com Edition (October 4 2011)
Doreen Cronin is an author of many best-selling children’s picture books. She was born in New York and spent her childhood living on Long Island with her family. As a child, Doreen had originally wanted to be a police officer because that was the field her father was in. However, as shegrew up, she realized how dangerous being a police officer really was and she decided that this was not a field that she wanted to pursue.
Doreen’s ability to write was first recognized by her first grade teacher Mrs. Cooper. Mrs. Cooper recognized her talent and would often give her extra writing assignments to help encourage her to write more. Doreen realized from these assignments that she loved to write and that she was good at it. She owes her career in writing to Mrs. Cooper, because she was the first person to draw out the writing potential within her and to motivate her to write.
Doreen graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1988 (with a degree in journalism). Then she graduated from John’s University of Law in 1998. She became an attorney in Manhattan, New York, for several years. While she was pursuing her career in law, she wrote and published her first book:
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type.
This book won a Caldecott Honor. Doreen left her job and took up a career in writing. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and her two daughters.
Summary of the book
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type
is a fictional story about cows that can type. Farmer Brown realizes at the very beginning of the book that he has a problem with his cows. All they do is type all day long on the old type writer in the barn. The cows type a message to Farmer Brown asking for electric blankets because they get cold at night. Farmer Brown refuses to give the cows electric blankets. The cows then go on strike and type a message to Farmer Brown informing him that there will be no milk coming from the cows. This causes Farmer Brown to become angry. The cows then type another message telling Farmer Brown that the hens are cold at night and that they would also like electric blankets. Farmer Brown refuses to give the hens what they want, so the hens end up going on strike as well, and the cows inform Farmer Brown that there will be no more eggs coming from the hens. Farmer Brown becomes frustrated and he does not know how he will be able to run his farm if he is not able to get milk and eggs. He decides to type his own message to the hens and cows, and tells them that he demands milk and eggs and that they are not getting electric blankets. The cows realize they have a problem, so they decide to hold a meeting to figure out a way for them to get the farmer to give them electric blankets. The next morning they send Duck off with a typed reply note to Farmer Brown. The note says that the cows will exchange their type writer for electric blankets. Farmer Brown agrees to the cows’ idea and he leaves electric blankets outside the barn door. However, at the end of the story, Farmer Brown does not get the cows’ type writer. Duck was supposed to give Farmer Brown the type writer but Duck ends up taking the type writer to the pond where the other ducks are. The story ends with the ducks typing a note to Farmer Brown asking him for a diving board for the pond.
I really enjoyed reading this book because it’s a comical story that involves farm animals. In this story there is a switch in roles. The farm animals, through the type writer, are able to go on strike and are also able to communicate in English with the Farmer, which is something that could never happen in reality. The cows and hens in the story also hold the power over Farmer Brown. They know that Farmer Brown needs and depends on their milk and their eggs. Therefore, when the animals go on strike, they know they will eventually get the electric blankets because without milk and eggs, the farm cannot function.
I also admired the intelligence of the cows and their ability to problem solve. When the cows receive Farmer Brown’s message stating that they will not receive electric blankets, the cows realize that Farmer Brown is firm in his decision. The cows then portray their intelligence when they decide to hold an “emergency” meeting in the barn to discuss a solution to the problem. The cows are persistent and they will not stop until they receive their electric blankets, and this is displayed in the deal they type up in a message for Farmer Brown. The note states that the cows will swap the type writer for electric blankets. In the end, the cows’ intelligent and well thought out deal works and Farmer Brown finally agrees to give them what they want.
In addition, I also found the idea of Farmer Brown not being in control of his own animals, very comical. The fictional idea of ducks and cows being able to read and type in English is also very funny.
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type,
is a great tool or model to use in a classroom to help children understand the difference between what is real and what is not in a story. Teachers could also use this book to help students understand the differences between fiction and non-fiction literature.
Analysis of Literary Element:
The literary element that I feel is extremely important in this story is the problem. Throughout the story, there are multiple problems that the farmer faces. The very first sentence in the book, “Farmer Brown has a problem” (Cronin 1) clearly sets up the idea of a problem for the readers. The first problem is that Farmer Brown’s “cows like to type…all day long” (1) which foreshadows the actions of the cows later on in the story. The cows are not supposed to be typing; this is not a normal action of cows in reality. The cows should be out in the fields eating grass so they can produce lots of milk, but in this story the cows stay indoors and type. The second problem occurs when Farmer Brown reads the typed note posted on the barn door from the cows. The problem is displayed through the sentence, “It was bad enough the cows had found the old typewriter in the barn, now they wanted electric blankets” (7)! The cows are requesting electric blankets from the farmer, but when Farmer Brown refuses to give the cows what they want, the third problem occurs when the “cows went on strike” (7). The cows leave a typed note for the farmer telling him that they will not give him milk. This is a problem for the farmer because he needs the cows’ milk. The fourth problem occurs when the cows type another note to Farmer Brown explaining to him how the hens are cold and how they also want electric blankets (11). When the Farmer still does not give the cows or the hens electric blankets, the hens decide to go on strike. In a typed note, the cows inform the farmer that there will be no eggs coming from the hens (13).
Farmer Brown displays his frustration at the problems the animals are causing him when he asserts: “Cows that type. Hens on strike! Whoever heard of such a thing? How can I run a farm with no milk and no eggs! ‘Farmer Brown was furious’” (16). Farmer Brown does not know what to do; he needs the cows’ milk and the hens’ eggs in order to run his farm. He is faced with a conflict. Therefore, after he chooses to type a note to the cows and hens demanding milk and eggs, (17) and after the cows come up with the deal of exchanging their type writer for electric blankets, (24) Farmer Brown decides to accept the cows’ proposal and finally gives the cows/hens what they want (25). However, a fifth problem occurs when Duck does not deliver the type writer to Farmer Brown. Instead, he receives a typed note from the ducks asking for a diving board (27). Therefore, throughout the entire story, Farmer Brown faces multiple problems that are created by the cows having the ability to communicate with the farmer through the type writer in English.
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