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The Cow Who Fell in the Canal
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The Cow Who Fell in the Canal

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  307 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Hendrika the Dutch cow is bored living on the farm. She longs to see the wondrous sites in the city, a place she has heard about from Pieter the horse. Quite by accident, her wish comes true one day when she falls into the canal and floats downstream on a raft.
Paperback, 33 pages
Published 1991 by Mammoth (first published January 1st 1950)
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153rd out of 193 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Laura Verret
Apr 30, 2015 Laura Verret rated it really liked it
Once upon a time there lived a cow named Hendrika. Hendrika lived on a farm in Holland and spent all of her time eating rich green grass and giving her owner, Mr. Hofstra, fine creamy milk. But Hendrika was dreadfully bored with her life – doing the same things over and over and over – until one day she fell into the canal and began floating downstream…

Suddenly Hendrika is seeing all sorts of fascinating and exciting things! But how will she get out of the river? And how will she make it back ho
Jan 11, 2015 Doria rated it it was amazing
This remains one of my most treasured childhood reads, a delightful story of a Dutch cow with an acute case of wanderlust. The illustrations are charming and depict both the countryside of Holland as well as the city of Amsterdam in marvelous detail. The story is told in simple and straightforward fashion, and is satisfying to read, even 30 years later. Highly recommended for reading aloud!
A very sweet little story about an unhappy cow who longs for nothing more than to see something other the countryside, She gets her wish when she falls in a canal and ends up floating into town. This book evoked the Dutch countryside and town life perfectly; they're exactly as I remember them from my many visits to Holland over the years. Charming!
Becky B
Hendrika the cow is bored with just standing in the pasture and eating. She hears about the town from the horse, and dreams about visiting and tasting one of the colorful straw hats the men at market wear. One day, she falls into the canal as she eats, manages to get herself on a raft, floats into town and has a grand adventure.

A funny story that sounds like it could have been inspired by a real story. I liked the setting in Holland and the picture the book gives of life there a few decades ago.
The Brothers
Jan 22, 2016 The Brothers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cows, travel, holland
I'm a bit biased about this book because I have very fond memories of my mother reading this to me. I especially remember marveling at the cheese being sold because it was in round balls (I was used to seeing it in plastic blocks at the supermarket).

The story is of Hendrika cow, who is very unhappy because she wants to see more of the world than her little farm in Holland. On day she falls into the canal and manages to get up on an abandoned raft. Her adventure leads her to the nearby town where
Apr 05, 2015 Kayla rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
This book was really funny. I think my students would enjoy reading this book and would laugh as they read it. In the book a cow longs to see the city. She does the same thing every day, eat eat eat. One day as she is roaming the pasture she falls into the canal. She gets on a raft and floats along the canal. She floats and floats until she sees the city. When she gets out she is at the market. She finds her owner and he takes her home. Now she is happy that she has something to think about oth ...more
Oct 17, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
The alternating colour/b&w pages added interest to the illustrations, and the images of Holland were fascinating (even with Dutch stereotypes for young readers). The story was nice - perhaps with a moral story that I've completely missing - not riveting - with a cow that overate and a static landscape of Dutch imagery. The kids will like the silliness of the cow drifting down the river tho so enjoy.
Sian Newman
May 15, 2014 Sian Newman rated it it was amazing
An immediate hit in our family. The illustrations by Peter Spier are wonderfully detailed, complementing the story so well. I really like childrens books that are educational without even trying and this is one of them. My kids are 7 but it is suitable for all because of the simple story and beautiful illustrations.
Danielle Chappell
Sep 14, 2011 Danielle Chappell rated it it was amazing
I taught for a year in the Netherlands and a parent of one of my students gave me this book. I LOVE this book because it takes place in the village where I lived and reminds me of the quirky culture of the Dutch and the many fond memories I have of the people that I met there. It's a great book that is great for small children!

Ja, natuurlijk een goeie boek voor kinderen! Zo veel lief!
May 09, 2013 Kyrie rated it really liked it
It was a very cute story about a cow's adventures in Holland. I liked the details in the illustrations and would like to know more about the market and other places. The cow was amusing, too.

I wouldn't have chosen it from the cover, but since it was in my book of books I need to read before I grow up, I did.
Sarah Seabrook
May 23, 2015 Sarah Seabrook rated it it was amazing
My childhood book. LOVE the illustrations, they're just wonderful. Black pen and watercolour in alternating pages. Fabulous story about a cow who wants more to life than just eating and making cheese. Her escapade is thrilling and we all get to enjoy Holland with her.
Apr 04, 2012 Freya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A much loved (and now heavily sellotaped!) childhood book that has been passed down my siblings and was perfect as we are half Dutch. We have subsequently hunted out new copies which aren't falling apart!
Feb 22, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite children's books. My mom read this to me when I was really young and I just fell in love with it. The only downside is they don't make it anymore, I had to get another copy on ebay.
Aug 12, 2008 Lucy rated it it was amazing
I love peter spiers' illustrations, i love this story. it is one of my favourites from my childhood & my 2 yr old daughter loves it too! ;o)
there is possibly a moral in there somewhere, but who cares, this is what childrens' books should be!!
Kelly Powell
This book was interesting because the pages alternated from black and white to color. The story was fun and play seeing where the cow would end up next while riding the canal. I really loved that the cow was wearing her own straw hat with a ribbon!
Aug 12, 2013 Danielle rated it liked it
Peter loves this book at the moment. I'm not sure why, as half the pictures are black and white. He does love anything with cows, though, and there is a cow on every page. I love the pictures. :)
Sep 20, 2015 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, storybook
A cow with emotional eating issues accidentally escapes her pasture and has an adventure in the city.
Oct 12, 2009 Jackmccullough rated it it was ok
I could just barely tolerate repeated readings of this book when my kids were little, but there wasn't much there.
Jun 15, 2008 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hendrika the cow's adventures in Holland. A lovely tale for children and one of the few I kept from childhood to pass on to my own children.
(Read with little sister as part of the "1,001 Children's Books To Read")

That was a really super cute story! I'm glad she got to see the town and wear a hat.
Apr 23, 2016 Melanie rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Nice short story with great drawings. I like it, in specific the black/white switched with the colored pages.
Laura rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2015
Alex rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2009
Brittnie rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2016
J rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2014
Devin rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2015
Amanda rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2015
Klaas Bisschop
Klaas Bisschop rated it it was ok
Feb 03, 2014
Megan rated it it was ok
Jan 16, 2016
Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2012
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Best known for her picture books, although also the author of two young adult novels and numerous magazine and newspaper articles, some of them humorous. Krasilovsky's first two books were accepted for publication when she was nineteen and newly married. Both of them were written in response to real children. The Very Little Girl (1953) was originally a birthday card for her sister's child, and Th ...more
More about Phyllis Krasilovsky...

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