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A Birthday for Cow!
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A Birthday for Cow!

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,086 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Pig and Mouse are hard at work baking thebest birthday cakeEVER for Cow. But it would be a lot easier if Duck weren't hanging around, yammering on about turnips or some nonsense. (Sheesh!)With all this silliness going on, how will they manageto throw Cow a spectacular birthday party? Well, as it turns out, crazy Duck just might havehad the right idea all along!

This second
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,664)
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Michelle Young
Apr 23, 2009 Michelle Young rated it it was amazing
This one made me giggle (inside) at the circ desk today. Gotta love the turnips.

The earnestness with which Cow's friends prepare his birthday treats is touching. Duck's savvy devotion to the turnip is inspiring.
Sep 29, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it
Once we discovered Jan Thomas through the "Doghouse," we decided we had to read everything she has had her hands on. She has this brilliant way to use very minimal text on the page and let the illustrations carry a lot of the story. There is always a joke, and usually the kids can tell what is coming before it happens which makes them feel very "in" and "smart." Her books elicit belly laughs from my kids.

In "Birthday for Cow," Pig and mouse work through each of the steps to make Cow the greatest
Feb 03, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing
It’s funny to think that even though we have all been kids, so few adults amongst us actually get them. Grown-ups like to think that children are merely shrunken versions of themselves. They forget that a child’s sense of humor is a difficult thing to determine. It’s easy to say, “Well kids think farts are funny so I’ll just write a whole book about farting,” and leave it at that, but in the end it’s the lazy way to do things. Certain picture book author/illustrators have figured out how to spea ...more
I love Jan Thomas' books. This is a fabulous, short choice for the birthday-theme storytime. And I love the duck. I couldn't help feeling sorry for the cake makers at the end, but I did like their solution. I think the preschool crowd will get the humor. Toddler probably would, too. And any time I can read a book loudly and a bit obnoxiously, well. Who can pass that up? :-)

9/26/12 & 9/27/12: A great opener for the birthday-theme ST. The kids loved the pictures. Of course. They are fabulous.
Dec 11, 2014 Whitney rated it really liked it
My daughter loved this book- especially the exclamation of "turnip!"
Dec 21, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 07, 2014 Jeanine rated it liked it
A Birthday for Cow! by Jan Thomas, is an easy to read, cartoon illustrative style book, which is why I was drawn to it. I love the how colorful the animal characters are drawn, and how you can clearly perceive their emotions (even if it is not written on the page).

Pig and mouse have decided to bake a birthday cake for cow, yet duck truly believes a turnip is more fitting. For the younger group preschool to maybe second grade (the book is recommended up to third grade/age 8). I chose to stop at
Feb 23, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014reviews
I love Jan Thomas. Like Leslie Patricelli, she's one of my favorite, favorite writers for young children. I adore her books. Probably my favorite, favorite is IS EVERYONE READY FOR FUN? I also enjoy Rhyming Dust Bunnies. Those two along with Birthday for Cow are among my favorites. I am so pleased that A Birthday for Cow is now available in board book format.

In A Birthday for Cow, readers meet Cow, Pig, Mouse, and Duck. Pig, Mouse, and Duck are going to surprise Cow with a birthday cake. They ar
Rosa Cline
Jan 21, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids, birthday
This is a cute little book. If you have an off sense of humor then you (or your child) will like this book. A group of animals wanted to do something nice for cow for her birthday; they kept trying to make a cake and one of the animals kept trying to add in something that totally didn't go into the making of a cake. End the end cow did appreciate her friends helping make her day a good one but although the others kept telling the duck that what they wanted to add was dumb etc it actually was the ...more
May 03, 2012 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Our library story times this month are being inspired by chapters from P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins. Remember the song from the movie "I Love to Laugh"? Mary visits her uncle, who is celebrating his birthday, which makes him laugh. Hence, we began this week's "Laughing-it-Up" story time with a birthday story.

All of Jan Thomas's books work well in a story time. We like "acting out" some parts of the "script". After all, the characters speak in word bubbles, with a little narration to hold it all to
Apr 17, 2012 Jaime rated it liked it
Today is Cow's birthday! Pig and Mouse decided to make Cow the best birthday cake ever. They mix the ingredients for the cake and Duck wants to add a turnip. Next, they mix it all together with... a turnip Duck exclaims, but no they mixed it with a spoon. They then put it in the oven and Duck wants to put the turnip in the oven too. Then Mouse and Pig ice and decorate the cake and on top put candles, but Duck wants to put the turnip ontop instead. When Cow comes they wish her a great big happy b ...more
Sara Bland
Apr 28, 2015 Sara Bland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This one is absolutely adorable. Every page is teeming with cute illustrations of different farm animals who are baking a cake for their friend, Cow. Every time the group begins a new stage of baking the cake, Duck tries to add in a turnip. The friends get frustrated with him and keep telling him no. In the end, Cow really loves his...turnip! This is a very cute story. I would recommend this for children in pre-k through kindergarten.
Jun 03, 2010 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Duck really loves turnips, even though Rat and Pig are clearly making a cake for Cow's birthday. Rat has had enough of Duck's ideas to add turnip to the batter, or stir the cake with a turnip, or put a turnip on top. Despite all of Rat and Pig's hard work, Cow is bowled over with delight by Duck's turnip. More cake for Rat and Pig!

The question-answer setup of the book is perfect for storytime with young children. They'll giggle when Duck wants to put the turnip in the cake, and they'll laugh eve
Miss Pippi the Librarian
The original picture book is fantastic and the board book version translates very well. The colors and text do not change from the original, so it is bright and bold throughout the entire book. It is very exciting to have this story as a board book!

Reviewed from a library copy.
Feb 29, 2016 Lara rated it really liked it
This one is great! We read it for storytimes about birthdays or dessert or cows...whatever! And we have a turnip prop that we use with it. The kids always think it's hilarious, especially the part about brushing your teeth with a turnip. Jan Thomas is the best!
Sandra Guerfi
Jul 08, 2014 Sandra Guerfi rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
It's Cows birthday and Pig and Mouse are baking a cake but Duck, for some strange reason is positive a turnip should be involved somewhere in this plan much to their confusion. This book had the kids laughing at the end.
Apr 14, 2016 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, animals
Why does duck want to put a turnip on cow's birthday cake? Pig and mouse just want to make a cake for cow. Simple, right? I'm just loving cow, pig, duck and mouse. Fun characters.
McKinzie Elton
To use this book for a speaking lesson, I would read the book aloud to my students, then work with them to create a reader's theater script based on the story.
May 22, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Any book with an interrupting duck who wants to add a turnip to everything has got to be good! Very funny story, and it's now available in board book format.
Dec 05, 2015 Shandra rated it really liked it
I love Jan Thomas, and am always happy to discover one I haven't read yet. This one is definitely joining her others in my storytime rotation!
Sep 29, 2014 Kristy rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime-books
Fun, colorful, humorous book about a pig and mouse prepping a birthday cake for Cow. And a duck who wants to add a turnip into the mix! I thought it was great, but I don't think my pre-k's got the humor. Most suitable for kindergartners.

Good for storytime.
Monica Williams
May 15, 2014 Monica Williams rated it really liked it
Fans of Click Clack Moo and even the Pigeon books will find this cute. The illustrations can be a bit on the big side, but young readers won't care.
I like Jan Thomas, quite a bit. Her illustrations are fun, her sense of humor is spot on, but I find her endings are pretty confusing to kids. (With the exception of Can You Make a Scary Face which is one of the greatest story time books ever.) To be fair, I read this in toddler story time, and that's probably too young. But her illustrations are so perfect for toddlers! I want her books to work for them, too!

Anyway, I liked this one. It made me giggle. And I might have to try it again in my pr
Sep 20, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
Turnips for cow. A very funny birthday book with all the natural silliness that comes standard with Thomas' books.
Very funny, and lends itself to a loud, dramatic read-along that's gets the kiddo laughing hard!
Feb 03, 2016 Peacegal rated it liked it
Kids will be giggling like mad at this goofy story. This would be a good choice as a read-aloud.
Todd Stansbury
Apr 08, 2014 Todd Stansbury rated it it was amazing
Definitely a fun little book. If nothing else it has turnips, and sometimes that's all you need.
Mar 22, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
I like every Jan Thomas book I've seen. Great sense of humor, illustrations, characters. Great use of language & typeface to convey the story & character's emotions.
Becca Hay
Jul 07, 2015 Becca Hay rated it really liked it
Shelves: classroom-books
sequencing with ingredients, central image, character matching object (the turnip)
Mar 12, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
Ok, this is my new favorite kids book. Go get it and read it and be silly.

And turnip.
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Lives in Socorro, New Mexico.
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