A Birthday for Cow!
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A Birthday for Cow!

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  549 ratings  ·  98 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...more
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 795)
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Michelle
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.
Megan
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...more
Betsy
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
Heidi
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....more
Becky
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...more
Rosa Cline
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
Vivian
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...more
Jaime
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
Maeve Mcgill
Apr 07, 2014 Maeve Mcgill added it
Shelves: fiction
This book is great for preschool and kindergarten children because it is simple and humorous. Pig and Duck are working together to bake Cow the best birthday cake they can but Duck keeps interrupting. This book would be great to read during a birthday celebration in school. The illustrations are gorgeous yet simple and the students will be able to fully understand the concept of this book.
Bethany
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...more
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.
Sandra
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.
Heather
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.
Monica Williams
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.
Kristen
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...more
Todd Stansbury
Definitely a fun little book. If nothing else it has turnips, and sometimes that's all you need.
Linda
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.
Craig Fischer
TURNIP.

I don't know if the Jan Thomas knows what a Pig looks like rofl.
Green Bean
A great and goofy birthday book for beginning readers! Pig and Mouse are baking Cow the best birthday cake ever, but all duck can do is obsess about TURNIPS! Duck wants turnips in the cake, on the cake, mixing the cake, and keeping the cake company at the party, which Pig and Mouse think is all wrong, and maybe even ruinous! Luckily Duck sneaks his surprise onto the scene at the last minute. It turns out Cow loves nothing better on a birthday than...TURNIPS! A great reminder that it's possible t...more
Bunny
omg this is sooo cute!
Brenda Pritchard
This is a cute book about a birthday cow. His friends all try to get presents for him. His friends that get him vegetables think that he won't like his present. When he does, the friends that made him a cake think that he doesn't like the cake. It is a cute picture book written with humor for ages 0-4. The author also wrote Rhyming Dust Bunnies, another cute series about dust bunnies that try to get away from a vacuum cleaner and a cat.
Dolly
Dec 07, 2012 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a humorous tale about birthdays. Pig and mouse want to bake a cake, but the duck insists on incorporating a turnip in the gift somehow. The story is short and the illustrations are colorful and cartoonish. It's a fun book to read aloud, and our girls enjoyed helping me read the dialog. We read this book the night before our youngest daughter's birthday, and we loved teasing her that we would get her a turnip for her birthday.
Sarah
It's hard to find a kid in storytime who doesn't like a Jan Thomas' humor. Simple book with great illustrations, and tons of fun to read aloud. No way to go wrong with that.
Mari
I LOVE this book. Cow is having a birthday, and pig and mouse are making a cake to celebrate. Duck has other ideas. Duck thinks a turnip is absolutely necessary. Funny, silly, short, expressive. . . Great for toddler stortyime and preschool storytime as well. Don't forget to read all the way to the endpapers! The last lines are a hoot.
Butterflycager
My little girls and I howled with laughter over the antics of the animals in this book. It's been three days since we checked it out from the library, and they are still pretending to bake the cake and host the party (a toy plastic onion is the stand-in for the turnip). I will probably purchase this for my three-year-old for her next birthday.
Sarah
I loved the bright, bold pictures of ill-proportioned animals that try to give a birthday surprise to cow. Duck, much to their chagrin, is bent on adding a turnip to their specially-prepared birthday cake. However, Duck triumphs eventually. The end peters off and underwhelmed me, but this is a fun and funny selection for kids.
☆Brittany☆
Wow I'm surprised everyone gave this 4 & 5 stars!

For some reason I wasn't impressed. It was okay but definitely not one of my favorite kid's books. Maybe it's because I am stressed out today so I'm kind of in a bad mood & reading it to Ethan just wasn't doing it for me. I'll chock it up to that for giving it two stars.
Polly
Cute, very cute. But lacking the dramatic potential of The Doghouse. They enjoyed it a lot at story time, however--apparently we had very few turnip fans attending today!
Roxanne
This book was a cute book about having a birthday for a cow! The pictures are really cute. I would use this book for preschool or Kindergarten students as a good read aloud and then have students write their own "book" about animals or a their last birthday.

Award:
A Junior Library Guild Premier Selection

Amy Carr
I love this author and her silly, fun books! The stories are clever and cute, the illustrations and bright and engaging...and every time I read one of her books, I laugh out loud! My daughter (even my boys) love these books. Great for new readers. I'm on a mission to collect them all...
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Lives in Socorro, New Mexico.
More about Jan Thomas...
Rhyming Dust Bunnies Can You Make a Scary Face? The Doghouse What Will Fat Cat Sit On? Is Everyone Ready for Fun?

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