Monday, October 18, 2021

Udderly Right! COW SAYS MEOW by Kirsti Call



(Copycat! says the boy.)

Clearly dismayed by Cow's all-wrong response, Cat answers in kind, with a "NEIGH," which prompts the boy to observe that the cat is clearly hoarse, after which a Horse comes up with a wild growl.

(I can't BEAR it!) laments the boy.

While this book on its face purports to be teaching animal sounds, the youngest among us may be a bit befuddled, while savvy youngsters will be relishing the humor and beginning to giggle at the wordplay. A bear appears next, who says BAAAAA!--to which our narrator responds...

"Ewe must be confused."

Meanwhile, on the verso page a sheep registers some surprise at the way this seemingly simple book about animal sounds is going, in Kirsti Call's latest, Cow Says Meow (A Peep-and-See Book) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021).

Author Call's latest is actually a rather sophisticated book, which is indeed about animal sounds, (In another bit of turnabout humor with the book's format, it can actually function to teach animal sounds just fine when read backwards! but also features clever wordplay between its narrators, a boy and girl whose comebacks to the misinformed critters use onomatopoeia in a pun-filled play on words with each page turn, as when Dog clucks, the boy tells him not to get his feathers ruffled.

In what seems like a nursery book with big cut-out eyes on both covers, there's plenty inside to keep primary graders giggling. Striking illustrations by Brandon James Scott provide the interlocutors plenty of openings for visual and verbal humor. With older readers, this book can be used to teach such sophisticated concepts as homophones, onomatopoeia, and puns. Fun as a read aloud for preschoolers and primary graders, this one has a lot of learning going for it!

Share this one with Cece Bell's I Yam a Donkey! (A Yam and Donkey Book) (Read my review here.)

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