Meow Said the Cow
written and illustrated by Emma Dodd
2011 (Arthur A. Levine Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library
There are few things more dangerous than an irritated cat. I have two at home and know this first hand. In Meow Said the Cow, the farm cat has had enough of the noise. He is especially tired of the rooster crowing, so he casts a spell to take care of the sunrise serenader. Suddenly, the rooster is squeaking like a mouse. Not content with that, the cat also causes a ruckus among the rest of the farm animals who have switched voices and are terribly confused. Hens and pigs trade their trademark sounds while the sheepdog and the sheep are the victims of more feline misdeeds. Feeling feisty and full of himself, the cat lopes off to the barn for a little mouse snack. Little does he know that the rest of the animals have figured out who is behind the vocal trickery and have some sleight of voice plans up their hooves. When the cat chases the mice, he is in for quite a surprise. At the end of the book, there is a new greeter of the new day.
Meow Said the Cow is a book that you will look forward to sharing as a read aloud. You know that the students will enjoy the illustrations and the humor, and will be ready to read along with you. There are plenty of opportunities for children to share predictions of which animals might have their voices switched. It will also be interesting to see if they have enough experience with picture books to predict that the cat will get his comeuppance in the end. This book is also a good choice when you are trying to teach the difference between fiction and nonfiction.