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Cows in the Kitchen

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Overview

Tom Farmer wakes up to mischief in a sprightly read-aloud that children will scramble to participate in.

While Tom Farmer naps in the haystack, his animals take over the farmhouse. There are cows in the kitchen, ducks in the cupboard, hens on the hat stand, pigs in the pantry, and even sheep on the sofa! What will happen when Tom Farmer wakes up? June Crebbin's boisterous text—a wild and wacky version of a nursery song modeled on "Skip to My ...

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Overview

Tom Farmer wakes up to mischief in a sprightly read-aloud that children will scramble to participate in.

While Tom Farmer naps in the haystack, his animals take over the farmhouse. There are cows in the kitchen, ducks in the cupboard, hens on the hat stand, pigs in the pantry, and even sheep on the sofa! What will happen when Tom Farmer wakes up? June Crebbin's boisterous text—a wild and wacky version of a nursery song modeled on "Skip to My Lou"—and Katharine McEwen's spririted illustrations combine for some riotous barnyard fun.

While Tom Farmer is asleep under the haystack, the cows, ducks, pigs, hens, and sheep make quite a mess in the farmhouse.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lending itself to a sing-along rather than a read-aloud (the text can be sung to the tune of "Skip to My Lou"), the merriment of this mischievous book is contagious. Barnyard animal sounds punctuate Crebbin's (Into the Castle) catchy text: "Ducks in the dishes, quack, quack, quack [repeat twice]/ That's what we do, Tom Farmer!" After seeing the animals wreaking havoc in the house, readers spy the farmer sleeping in the haystack, who chases the animals out and promptly falls asleep in an armchair. Crebbin's clever pacing comes into play as the prankster animals sneak in with a "shhh, shhh, shhh," and pounce on the innocently dozing fellow. McEwen makes a splash of a debut with her bustling, highly animated, slightly flattened cartoon drawings. High-stepping cows balance bottles on their noses, lick Jell-O and smash dishes; ducks make themselves comfortable in the cupboard, cozying up in a teapot and pilfering sugar cubes; sheep bounce and flop happily on the sofa. The broadly smiling troublemakers are an irresistible crew, ready to ambush unsuspecting readers as well with their rambunctious gaiety. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
While Tom Farmer is asleep in the haystack, the farm animals have taken over the house. Everything is chaos! His cows are in the kitchen, eating cake and soda pop, while his ducks are breaking dishes. His pigs are pigging out in the pantry, his hens are nesting on the hat stand, and his sheep are jumping on the sofa. What silly animals! Finally, all the animals wake up Tom Farmer. He kicks them all out of the house so he can sleep in his armchair in peace. Young readers will giggle in delight as the mess in Tom Farmer's house grows more and more out of control. The illustrations are quite decorative and full of humor.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Mischief-making barnyard animals and a tired farmer interact in this picture book based on a folk song. The rhythmic verses follow the pattern of "Skip to My Lou": "Cows in the kitchen, moo, moo, moo,/Cows in the kitchen, moo, moo, moo,/Cows in the kitchen, moo, moo, moo./That's what we do, Tom Farmer!" The accompanying two-page spread shows three bovines happily breaking dishes, licking food, and balancing items on their horns. The story continues with "ducks in the dishes," "pigs in the pantry," "hens on the hat stand," and "sheep on the sofa." Finally, the animals wake Tom Farmer from his haystack nap. When he shoos them out into the farmyard, they burst into the house again and make as much trouble as before. The story is slight, but the strong rhythm and repetition are sure to invite participation. Watercolor and pencil illustrations catch the spirit of fun. The stiff flatness of the simply drawn animals and the details of their activities are amusing rather than hilarious. Neither words nor pictures match the cleverness of Nadine Westcott's Skip to My Lou (Joy Street, 1989), Nancy Shaw's Sheep in a Jeep (Houghton, 1986), or Rhonda Gowler Greene's Barnyard Song (Atheneum, 1997), but kids will still enjoy this farmyard fracas.-Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Livestock's great out on the range, but when there are cows in the kitchen, sheep on the sofa, and hens on the hatstand, Crebbin warns, look out. Crebbin (The Train Ride, 1995, etc.) builds on a song she overheard preschoolers singing; as Tom Farmer dozes in the haystack the animals run wild through the house. Ducks in the dishes result in a lot of quacking up in the cupboards, while sheep somersault over the back of the sofa. Starring are repetition, animals sounds, and a sleeping adult, who awakens to see a slice of cake run by impaled on a steer's horn, while donuts, dishes, and ducks go flying; the entire text, providentially, can be sung to the tune of "Skip to My Lou." Zany animal antics fill McEwan's illustrations to bursting; the twist is that the next time Tom Farmer falls asleep the animals tiptoe up to him before they raise a ruckus all over again. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763606459
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.05 (w) x 12.26 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

June Crebbin taught school before retiring in order to devote herself entirely to writing. She says, "While I was visiting the preschool-aged children at the school where I used to teach, they were singing a version of 'Cows in the Kitchen.' I thought it was so much fun that it inspired me to write my own!"

Katharine McEwen recently graduated from a three-year course in illustration. "What I like about this story," she says, "is the mischievous nature of all the animals. I loved painting the chaos they caused, especially in the final pages."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2009

    Cows in the Kitchen

    Fantastic book. The words may be sung to the melody of "Skip to My Lou". Children as young as 18 months love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

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