This mixed-up barnyard tale of tolerance and friendship teaches kids (and creatures) that it's okay to be different . . . and sometimes even more fun!
- Harcourt School Publishers
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For Valentine's Day one year, I painted a big shipping box to look like a barn and put in it a plush cow and a pig and this book, and gave it to my then two-year-old son. Weird -- yeah, maybe. Smart -- yeah, definitely. He likes the toys and the book, and all of his farm animals are now housed in the barn box. I first encountered this book in its oversized version when my friend and former colleague, Louise N., were looking for books for Reader's Theatre. We found this book, and since we already had the pig and cow puppets, it was a cinch to use. The only challenging part was turning those oversized pages and working the puppets at the same time, but that's another story. Anyway, whether this story is being read to thirty five-year-olds or one two-year-old, it's a riot. Which makes it hold up really well for repeated reading and is one of my standards in buying a child's book. The title of the book tells about half the story, so I won't give away any more. It does have a happy ending, which is another one of my standards in buying a child's book, especially for a toddler.
It was one of the easiest way to relate the moral of the story to the children. Never judge a book by its cover, as they say. And the best part of it is that it's a very good comparison between the two animals that is of diff. backgrounds.
I have used this book in teacher training for ESL students. All teachers agree that the content, besides being delightfully appropriate for children, is exceptionally perfect for teaching awareness of the advantages of being bilingual. Also, it's great for using role playing, chorus reading, and all other techniques in a language class.