Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I wrote about one of the World Snack board books, Hola Jalapeno. This week I’m thinking about award winning picture books. I’m talking specifically about the finalists for the 2009 Canadian Children’s Book Center awards. Chicken, Pig, Cow (age 2-5), written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi and published by Annick Press, is one such finalist. Thanks to my friend Joanna at Annick Press (@AnnickPress)I have a copy to review.
Chicken, Pig and Cow love their popsicle barn built by Girl. It was perfect except for two things: the drooling dog outside and no door. Then one day Chicken, Pig and Cow wanted to explore the outside world and Girl wasn’t around to help. They had a plan but Cow was left behind in the barn. Then there was a droolly sound, the barn moved and Cow went flying. Now Cow sat face-to-face with her worst fear — Dog. Chicken and Pig attempted to rescue Cow, but they soon discovered Dog only wanted a friend to play with.
My kids loved this book. The sentences are short and full of fun child-like language. Calling the characters in the story by what they are verses giving them names is something all young children can relate too, the cow is Cow, the girl is Girl. This is exactly how my two year old daughter names all her possessions. My son especially loved the scene with Cow flying out of the popsicle barn. Chicken, Pig and Cow don’t feel or look like toys and I think the animals behave how most kids think their toys would behave when they’re not playing with them.
The illustrations are cute and have a great warm feeling, like the animal’s friendship. I especially love the view when done from Chicken, Pig and Cow’s perspective, with the larger than life Dog. The way Ruth Ohi intertwines the text with the images adds to the playfulness of the entire story.
Chicken, Pig, Cow is a great story about the simple joys of friendship that young children will be able to understand and enjoy. Chicken, Pig and Cow explore the outside world but discover they’re happiest together, in their barn, with their new friend Dog close by.
Chicken, Pig, Cow is a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award honours excellence in the illustrated picture book format, for children aged 3 to 8. The winner is expected to be announced on November 19, 2009.
If you wish to add Chicken, Pig, Cow to your personal library, visit Amazon.ca. If you are in or around the Toronto, Ontario area, you can hear Ruth Ohi read at The Word on the Street book and magazine festival on Sunday, September 27, 2009.
Looking for other children’s books? Take a look at the previous Write a Review Wednesday Posts.