Prather’s Pick: A new ‘Click, Clack’ picture book
Christmas shopping has begun, and kids would love to find this book under the tree — if they have read the “Click, Clack” picture books, written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin. Cronin and Lewin have produced more than 10 books, beginning with “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.”
The stories take place on Farmer Brown’s farm, where a variety of animals have a knack for getting into mischief. A big white duck is often the ringleader. The stories are written in a lively way, with a rollicking story line and hilarious illustrations. Kids like having the books read to them over and over again.
This week’s book, “Click, Clack Quack to School,” is the newest addition to the series. The story begins when Duck brings a letter to Farmer Brown. It’s an invitation to be a guest at Farm Day Lunch the next day. The letter is mostly typed, but one line is written in crayon: “Bring the animals, too.” (Perceptive readers will notice the illustration on the credit page at the beginning of the book. Duck is standing beside the mail box, holding a crayon.)
Farmer Brown remembers when he attended school as a boy, so he’s really excited. It’s been a long time. So he goes to the barn to get the animals ready.
Boy, are the cows excited! They’ve never been to school, but they’re looking forward to the visit. They start stomping and clomping and mooing. However, Farmer Brown says school is quiet. There is no stomping, clomping, and mooing. Now, the cows aren’t so excited anymore.
At the chicken house, the chickens are excited about the invitation. They clap, snap, and cluck, but once the farmer tells them school is serious, they aren’t so excited, either. The same is true for the pigs. At first, they’re so excited they tromp around in the mud, but boy, do they look sad when they’re told that school is calm.
Farmer Brown finds Duck sitting on a cushion with his legs crossed. He’s meditating. He breathes in slowly and deeply and out the same way. The farmer warns Duck not to be so “Duck-y.” Then, the farmer hands out rule books, and the animals study all night.
The next morning, the animals are quiet as they load up in the farmer’s red pickup truck. But there’s a big surprise at school, and an ending with a twist for the reader.
“Click, Clack Quack to School” is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book). It costs $17.99 in hardcover. This new book can also be found in the children’s room at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.
So much for the models that predicted a cool, wet summer for us here in western Colorado — at least I think it’s hot this July. Ranchers are probably relieved that it’s been a good haying season, and after the cool spring, it’s nice to have a “normal” summer, but it is indeed hot.