I just received a copy of this brand new book, A Cow on the Couch! I really got a kick out of this book and think it has great possibilities. Read on and I’ll tell you why.
Title: A Cow on the Couch
Author: Glen A Penrod
Publishing: 2017, Dymon Publications American Fork
Suitable for Ages: 3 to 8
Theme: Fiction, Humour, Beginning Reader
Opening Lines: “Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown! What?”
Brief Synopsis: Two young children try to tell Mr. Brown about the cow in his house. The skeptical Mr. Brown asks the children a series of questions (think the 5 W’s) to figure out what’s really going on. And, of course, there IS a cow. But happily the story doesn’t end there; instead it finishes with an unexpected and humorous twist!
Why I Recommend This Book: This delightful book has it all: humour, suspense and surprise. It’s both a great read aloud and a beginning reader. The illustrations are big, bright and expressive. The text is simple, yet tells an interesting story. Best of all (from a teacher’s perspective) the text is full of repetition, word families, and the five questions (why, where, when, what, who). This is definitely a book a new reader would enjoy!
Classroom / Home Extensions: ROUND UP THE RHYMES: Read the book through again, only this time start highlighting the rhyming words. The easiest way is to write them down on index cards as you come to them. You’ll end up with cow how now wow house mouse brown down town. Sort the rhymes and challenge your child (children) to come up with more!
DIGRAPHS: Find the words that have the same middle sound with different spellings. There are several different words in the book with ow/ou /ou.
THE FIVE QUESTIONS: Young children need to learn what a question is. In a K or 1st Grade classroom you realize the lack of understanding when a student is sharing something and you tell the kids to “ask a question” about the sharing. Invariably they end up telling stories instead of asking. This book is perfect for introducing kids to the various kinds of questions. It would be worthwhile to have them sit in pairs and ask each other “why” questions, then “who”, “where”, etc.
EXTEND THE STORY: The surprise ending is rather open-ended. It’s just right for asking the kids to draw a picture and/or write about what might happen next.
HOW TO DRAW A COW: In my experience, most young children enjoy directed drawing lessons. It teaches them some basic drawing skills and gives them a feeling of accomplishment. I created a directed drawing printable you can download below.
LABEL THE DRAWING: Once the cow drawing is complete encourage the children to add some background details and then label the various objects in the picture. E.g., cow, sun, tree, house, etc.
DOWNLOAD: DIRECTED DRAWING OF A COW
I hope you enjoyed this book review. Happy Reading! PS: I have lots more book reviews here.