March 23, 2012

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 :)

Reactions:

67 comments:

  1. CreatingcuriouskidsMarch 23, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Susanna, your synopsis of "Kiss the Cow" would make a great pitch. I am dying to know about the disastrous results. Inquiring minds want to know.

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  2. I love Strega Nona, Oh Susanna! I cannot wait to read this book. It looks so cute. What a cute cover! It says it all. :-)

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  3. Wow. Totally sucked in by the opening lines and the cover. And I love Mama May already.

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  4. Margaret GreaniasMarch 23, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    We love Strega Nona here, so we will have to check out Kiss the Cow. I'm really curious to compare them.

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  5. Kiss the Cow sounds like a great book. It sounds like a good story to teach kids to be thankful. Annalisa sounds like a great character!
    My family had a lot of fun with Phyllis! I am enjoying reading about all the places she is going to!!

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  6. Catherine JohnsonMarch 23, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    A magic cow book sounds wonderful and the words are very lyrical too. That is a winner and so is Phyllis. How cool you managed to find a book with the author called Phyllis today too! I've enjoyed the tour and since I am going out of town today I'd better take Phyllis with me and my camera in case I see anything of interest. Have a lovely weekend!

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  7. LOVING the photos of Phyllis and her adventures! This looks like a great book for this week and you know, baby cows have such sweet soft little faces that I bet kissing one wouldn't be too bad. :)

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  8. Look at that sweet cow! Of course she needs a kiss! Your idea to send Phyllis traveling has sparked some fantastic posts. I'm planning on catching up on her adventures this weekend.

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  9. What a cute title, Kiss the Cow and I the premises sounds like a fun read.
    Thanks for sharing the pix of Phyllis. Also, here is my link for PPBF
    http://jennyleeyoung.blogspot.com/2012/03/perfect-picture-book-friday-god-bless.html
    The title is - God Bless the Gargoyles. Now, off to check out your cow links

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  10. There's something about Candlewick books that I find incredibly appealing! Just look at the gorgeous, sweet moment captured on the cover! Great post Susanna - I am looking for this book today!

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  11. Count me among the Strega Nona fans and convinced I'll love this story, too! The front cover has me enamored already!

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  12. Love the title and the cover art is adorable. Sounds like a fun book.

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  13. Love your pic for PPBF.... so cute. I love Tomie dePaola's books so I would love this one.

    Love catching up with Phyllis's trips and adventures.... sounds like she is have a wow time of it.

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  14. Another delightful-sounding book that I was completely unaware of! (Where have I been?)

    Phyllis and I had such a good time -- and I'm having a wonderful time reading about her adventures with others. She is a delight. Sounds like a great "flat Phyllis" activity, too.

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  15. I have my notebook and pencil right beside me when I read PPBF. This week, I will be reading two week's worth of reviews. Last week my family was here and I had to skip reading everyone's reviews. PPBF is the perfect way to have a list ready for the library. There is plenty of variety, and I can count on quality books from PPBF reviewers. Thanks so much for having this as a part of your blog, Susanna.
    Kiss the Cow sounds wonderful! I love the title and the cover art.

    As you know...I am loving Phyllis's tour. I think all of us are having almost as much fun as Phyllis!

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  16. What a fun story.

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  17. Kiss the Cow sounds delightful! You always have the best picture book recommendations, Susanna, which are great gift ideas for my nieces and nephews!

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  18. I have never read Kiss the Cow but it sounds like such a fun book. I can totally relate to the Mom--I have so many kids that I can't count them all. Well, not really. I actually only have three, but somehow most days they feel like so many more. :) (I'm sure you relate!)

    I continue to be so amazed and impressed with all of Phyllis's globe trotting. She's one lucky groundhog. I still need to try and figure out how to get the badge up on my blog. Hopefully this weekend. :)

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  19. I love the cover and the title -- makes you want to snatch the book off of the shelf! What a great book selection with a wonderful message! I know a lot of stubborn little girls -- and I was one of them. Great resources. My favorite thing at the Ohio State Fair is the cow made of butter.

    Have enjoyed Phyllis' World wide tour. Everyone has been so creative and had a great deal of fun. Can't wait to see her other stops.

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  20. Hee hee! i hadn't thought of that Beth, but Flat Phyllis is totally fun to say! :)

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  21. I can't get Penny's link to work. Darn, I really want to read about Bobby Bramble losing his brain!

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  22. Except I realize I misspelled it! Phlat Phyllis is more in keeping with the phar-out phun that Phyllis provides.

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  23. Will have to check the book out as we do like Strega Nona.
    Loving all of Phyllis pics, and anxiously awaiting her arrival to Silicon Valley.

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  24. I guess inquiring minds should get the book out of the library so I don't spoil it for anyone, or else email me :))

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  25. I know! Don't you just love that cow and want to kiss her right on her velvety soft brown nose? :)

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  26. It hearkens to the idea that there are no new stories, just new twists on old ones. This book and Strega Nona are similar, but different :) and both fun!

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  27. Thanks, Erik - it is a fun book!

    And I'm so glad you had a good time with Phyllis! I certainly enjoyed reading about her adventures in Philly with you and your family, and I appreciate the time you took to show her around and write and share your wonderful post!

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  28. Clever you! I didn't think anyone would notice that today's author matched Phyllis's name! Have a great trip, and YES PLEASE take Phyllis with you and photograph and let me know as soon as you have post and I'll add you into the tour! :)

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  29. I am definitely more of a horse-nose-kisser so I can relate to Annalisa's anxieties :) So glad you're enjoying Phyllis's tour! I can't believe how incredibly fun it's turning out to be!

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  30. I know it Heather! You'd think all these people wrote for children or something, they're all so creative and entertaining! :) Can't wait to see what you have in store for Phyllis!!!

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  31. I hope you like the book and the links :) And thanks for your link - hopefully I've got it up now!

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  32. I agree, Cathy! Candlewick books do tend to have very appealing covers. I hope you'll enjoy this one - it has always been a big favorite in our house!

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  33. I love Strega Nona and I just know I will love this sweet book also. Love the cover illustration style. Cows are so fun :). Thanks for the pics of Phyllis!

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  34. I am sure Phyllis is eagerly anticipating her visit with you! Maybe she'll get there today... :) Keep us posted!

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  35. I am chortling because you are so exactly right! (and how often does one get to use the word chortling? :))













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

    Except I realize I misspelled it! Phlat Phyllis is more in keeping with the phar-out phun that Phyllis provides.

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    Link to comment

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  36. Thanks for mentioning Amy. I'll see if I can fix it.

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  37. Glad you like, Loni! And you're welcome, but thanks goes really to all the fantastic people who have been taking the pics and blogging about the amazing things they've done with Phyllis! :)

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  38. I think that cow is just plain cuddly :) And I have a lot of firsthand info on and experience with stubborn girls :) How big is the cow made of butter? Life size? Phyllis would like to visit that! Glad you're enjoying her tour - aren't all these people just totally amazing?! :)

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  39. Yes, I can relate - children have a way of seeming like they're three times as many as they are :) I too am SO impressed with everything everyone has done for Phyllis - you guys all blow me away! You are the second person to mention trouble with the tour badge... If you want to email me with specific questions, I'll see if I can help ^*&@# Oops sorry. i couldn't say that with a straight face :) Me in the same sentence with tech help is oxymoronic to the extreme!

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  40. Thank you, Laura! I'm so glad you like them. I can say that most of what I post has been HEAVILY kid-tested in my house :)

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  41. It really is - I just love that cow :)

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  42. I'm glad you enjoy all the PPBs Penny - I do the same thing! Whenever I come across books I haven't read that have been recommended I add them to my (GIGANTIC) list. I am amazed every day at how much fun Phyllis's tour is, and it's all thanks to you guys. You are so creative and fun and enthusiastic! Phyllis is lucky and so am I!

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  43. I'm hoping she's going to show up at your house pretty soon, Diane! :)

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  44. It is! Especially if you like cows or can relate to stubborn little girls :)

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  45. I know - the cow is so sweet, and that little girl just has mischief written all over her :)

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  46. Magic cows? Yes! :)
    Have a great weekend, can't wait to see where Phyllis is next!

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  47. Sources close to the hog say she's in Maine and on her way to another location in CA... can't wait to see what happens next! :) Great weekend to you too Coleen!

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  48. Ooh, I'm already in love with that adorable cow and her jaunty gold bell - sweet!

    Have been having a ball following Phyllis around the world...but my mailbox is so lonely. I wonder if Phyllis wrote down the tracking number before she left...?

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  49. 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!

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  50. Penny KlostermannMarch 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    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!

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  51. Oh, I wouldn't want to spoil the fun...the library it is!

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  52. Phyllis, clever girl that she is, DOES have the tracking number. She left it with me, and I will see what I can track down tout de suite! (or however you spell that :))

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  53. 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!

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  54. 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. :)

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  55. A magic cow? How fun. I'll have to see if my library has it. Quick question: Is there an official hashtag for PPBF on Twitter?

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  56. Love Strega Nona...so I know I will love this book as well. Congrats on the successful world tour...I love that people all over the world take their picture with Phyllis. :)

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  57. I'm an animal lover too, and also a fan of Will Hillenbrand. I'm glad you liked the review. Let me know how you like the book if you read it :)

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  58. 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.

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  59. Ooh, I like your sister's spelling - so pretty! And Phyllis certainly is quite the world traveller! Oh, the stories she'll have to tell when she gets home :)

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  60. 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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  61. This book sounds fun, but I think Phyllis' travel was my squirrel on Friday and I totally clicked away ... Back now to Perfect Picture Book Friday business.

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  62. No because I'm not on twitter! Maybe I should look into it!

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  63. You and me both, Stacy :) I have to add the whole list to the archive page... but it's not going to happen this evening!

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  64. 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.

    Link to comment

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  65. I know, isn't it just wonderful? And we're only getting started - she has so many more visits planned in so many cool places!

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