Over the past year, my now four year old daughter has been working on not getting frustrated (i.e. screaming, crying, whining, flopping, etc…) when she can’t get something figured out immediately. I recently came across the book, The Cow That Went OINK, by Bernard Most, and was really pleased by how humorously and cleverly the author delves into ideas of learning, frustration, being teased, practice, and persistence. Plus, the drawings are cute and the opportunities for you and your child to play around with animal sounds abound.
The story starts out with a cow who only knows how to say “oink.” All the other cows and animals on the farm laugh at this poor cow who cries about her problem. Next enters a friendly pig who only knows how to say, “moo.” Naturally, this unleashes more laughter from the other pigs and farm animals. The pig cries as well. The cow and pig eventually try to teach each other their sound, resulting in “oimoo, oinoo, oinkoo, moink, moinkoo, and mook.” The farm animals continue to make fun of the cow and pig, but the cow and pig ignore them, continuing to practice their “moo” and “oink.” Finally, the cow and the pig both learn how to successfully say “moo” and “oink.” The book concludes with, “And they were the only animals on the farm that could do both. So they had the last laugh.”
We’ve only read this book once together, but my daughter has mentioned it a few times after she worked on buttoning her sweater by herself (a 10 minute project) without crying and taping a plastic cup that had cracked. She said, “I practiced and did it by myself! Just like that cow!”
The book of course is also good in pointing out how cows, pigs, and yes, people are different and have unique skills and knowledge. Being apart from the crowd can be hard at times, but can often have more lasting and worldly benefits!
The Cow That Went OINK is a nice length for 3 to 6 year old kids and excellent at being opened ended to prompt lots of questions. Oh, wait. Did your child already ask you enough questions today? Perfect for bedtime or nap time.
Be sure to check your local library for a copy of this entertaining and engaging book.