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A Birthday for Cow!
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A Birthday for Cow!

(The Giggle Gang #5)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,988 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Pig and Mouse are hard at work baking the best birthday cake EVER 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 manage to throw Cow a spectacular birthday party? Well, as it turns out, crazy Duck just might have had the right idea all along!
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,988 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Apr 23, 2009 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.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very silly fun. Simple and clean illustrations with thick outlines and super bright colors make this an attractive storytime option. Don't miss the extra fun on the opening and closing endpapers.

Used for Birthday storytime in January 2019.
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Birthdays and cows - it's hard to go wrong! ...more
Feb 03, 2008 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
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jan Thomas is another of my fav authors for children. She writes simple but funny stories with bright and colorful pictures. October 17th, is Cow's birthday. Pig and Mouse are making a cake, but Duck insists that they add a turnip. Gross. But what do you think Cow wants for his birthday? Hummmm ...more
Sep 29, 2011 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
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. And
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We can't say for certain we know what a turnip actually is or why it can't go in a cake, but we thoroughly enjoyed trying to yell TURNIP every time mama did. Pics are great and the story was silly fun. 🐮🐷🐭🎂 ...more
It's Cow's birthday and Duck insists that the birthday cake should have a turnip. A deliciously ridiculous picture book that will be fun to share or read independently. ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
My daughter loved this book- especially the exclamation of "turnip!" ...more
Love birthdays, cows and Jan Thomas books
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't like this book ...more
Read Aloud with Denver Public Library
Tips and Activities:
On the first page point out the calendar and count to 17. Cow’s birthday is October 17th.
When you get to the page with the first appearance of the turnip, ask the children what a turnip is. Ask them to describe how it looks. For example: It’s green, purple, and white; it’s a vegetable. Some readers bring in a real turnip to show kids what a turnip looks like. You could also bring pictures of a turnip.
Note that the story starts on the end page with a calendar marking cow’s bi
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
A Birthday for Cow by Jan Thomas, PICTURE BOOK. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. $10. 9780544850026



It’s Cow’s birthday and Pig and Mouse are going to make him a birthday cake. Silly duck keeps trying to add a turnip to the cake batter, or put a turnip on top, or stir everything with a turnip. Pig and Mouse are fed up and insist on leaving any turnips out. When Cow arrives for the party, Pig and Mouse are very surprised at what Cow
Lacy | literary_lacy
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-lily
This book is okay. It wasn’t as good as I felt like it could have been.

The sentences are short, and simple which is good for younger kids, but it honestly was difficult to read this book. The sentences just jumped around, and then chicken would chime in with “turnip” in the middle of sentences, but there was no flow.

This book isn’t educational, or interactive either, so that just bumped this book down even more.

I still gave it 3 stars because my daughter doesn’t really pay attention to how a
This fun picture book has a great lesson about listening to everyone's ideas when planning something fun. Pig, Mouse, and Duck are planning a birthday surprise to include an awesome cake. Pig and a Mouse go at it, but when Duck wants to add an ingredient that isn't in their recipe, they refuse to even consider it. Young readers will giggle when they get to the cute twist at the end. Bold, colorful illustrations will help make this a terrific book to share with primary students. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this is quite a funny book. The story itself is amusing, and the illustrations add to the humor. I used a real turnip and a duck puppet to help act out the story for my two-year old story time groups, because I realized that they might not be familiar with this vegetable. They responded well and enjoyed the book, although perhaps not quite as much as I did.
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This hysterical beginning reader will have young readers giggling through out the entire book and leave them wanting more! The simple illustrations are brightly colored and expressive! Recommended for pre-k-2nd grade and anyone in need of a good laugh.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kid-literature
There are a couple of things I like about this book. It goes through steps, so it is a great book for discussing sequencing. If reading this to a child, it would also be great to make predictions. The story, however, is weird. I am not a fan of the ending. It's just strange. ...more
Rachael Scott
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
There are a couple of things I like about this book. It goes through steps, so it is a great book for discussing sequencing. If reading this child, it would also be great to make predictions. The story, however, is weird. I am not a fan of the ending. It's just strange. ...more
I have never gone wrong with Jan Thomas and this one is no exception. Pig and Mouse are working hard to make a birthday cake for Cow but Duck keeps trying to add a turnip to the cake. Eventually we find out why and everyone giggles. A fun group read aloud!
John Merriam
Kiddo has read this over and over and over, full belly laughing every time. Really just a great simple book. Kiddo reads at a level M, and when I say this is a simple read, I mean this could easily be a board book.
Aug 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
Pig and Mouse work hard to bake a birthday cake for Cow's birthday. Duck keeps trying to get them to add a turnip to it. They work through this distraction and make a beautiful cake. When they bring it to Cow, there is a humorous and surprise twist (for young readers). ...more
Linda Virtue
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I like the birthday cake!
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: storytime3-5
Good silly fun and a decent message. Good for storytime.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a really fun read aloud especially if you like cows and birthdays (and silly talking animals!)
Alyssa Gudenburr
A SUPER funny story that the children loved! The story is about making a special birthday cake for cow.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
perfect for storytime
Hααlεч ♥
Duck knows cow best.
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When Jan Thomas isn't working on children's books, she's painting pictures, playing the drums, backpacking, or wrangling dust bunnies.

Other books in the series

The Giggle Gang (5 books)
  • What Is Chasing Duck? (The Giggle Gang, #1)
  • There's a Pest in the Garden! (The Giggle Gang, #2)
  • My Friends Make Me Happy! (The Giggle Gang, #3)
  • My Toothbrush Is Missing (The Giggle Gang, #4)

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