Cows to the Rescue

Title: Cows to the Rescue

Author & Illustrator: John Himmelman

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2011
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-5
Themes: Farm Animals, Helping Out, Humor, Family

Opening Lines:

It was the day of the county fair! At seven o’clock, Farmer Greenstalk could not start the car.

Cows to the rescue!

Synopsis (from MacMillan website):

It’s the day of the county fair!

Three-legged races, a “Smartest Pig” contest, the Ferris wheel—what could be more fun? But the Greenstalks’ car won’t start, so they’ll need some help getting there. . . .

Cows to the Rescue is the fabulous new book in John Himmelman’s hilarious barnyard saga. It follows Chickens to the Rescue and Pigs to the Rescue, bringing back the fun with brand new mishaps and brand moo—er, new—problem-solvers.


A visit to the local farm or petting zoo, or better yet your County Fair!

Why I Like this Book:

This book is hilarious. The text drives the story for the illustrations to shine. Farmer Greenstalk and the animals are beset with problems to solve during the day, not a problem as Cows to the Rescue! Whenever I read the refrain I wanted to shout it out like I was  super-hero. The illustrations are colorful and simple, and the cows have a lot of personality. One of my favorites is the cows on the ferris wheel, where you have the calm one, the biting nails one, the I must cover my eyes one, and the oh look how small everything looks down there one. I wonder if Mr. Himmelman has names for each of the cows, that is how well he has portrayed them. Grab this book and a child for storytime.

If you like this book do check out the predecessors in this series, Chickens to the Rescue and Pigs to the Rescue. I especially love Pigs to the Rescue, as the pigs never get it quite right and the Greenstalks in the end are hoping that the pigs don’t come to the rescue.

Picture Book Details:

As an aspiring PB writer, I often analyze a book for its text and illustrations to learn from it. Here are some of the details I liked from this book:

– Repetitive Structure of the text. There are 6 stanzas of three lines each.

  • First line: Time of day, Problem
  • Second line: “Cows to the rescue!”
  • Third line: Expression of thanks

– Illustrations show how the problem is solved by the cows in the most humorous, quirky, silly way. The animal characters have a unique personalities.

– Underlying theme — Family.
I only realized this as I was typing the text out for my own analysis, it is subtle but lovely.  The cows were helping out their farm family which consisted of the Greenstalks and the other animals. This is apparent as it is Emily was “scared” of going on the Ferris wheel, or the pigs who needed tutoring, or Jeffrey who needed a partner for the three-legged race.


12 Comments to “Cows to the Rescue”

  1. This books looks great. I’ll have to find those others you mentioned too. Thanks for the review!

  2. Looks like a fun book!

  3. Lovely review. I have seen these raved about so often, I surely need to get my hands on them. Sounds like some very tight and clever text!

  4. It does sound funny! I want to get all 3 books! To the library! 😉

  5. The cover look like so much fun! I did not of this series, but the cover left me smiling. I can imagine DD wanting to pick this up. Looking it up at our library. Thanks for sharing this on Kid Lit Blog Hop!

  6. This looks like a fun book – I can see shouting out ‘Cows to the rescue’ like a superhero, too. I love the way you’ve analyzed the book as an aspiring PB writer! I stopped by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

  7. Woohoo! I love Chickens to the Rescue – I always add in a few manic “Bok! Bok! Boks!” to go with the illustrations! Thanks for reviewing, I must hunt this down immediately 😀

  8. Stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop to say hello. This book sounds really funny. We love Minnie and Moo books and would probably love this one also :0)

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