Prather’s Pick: Author Cronin offers fun book for Halloween
Doreen Cronin, author, and Betsy Lewin, illustrator, are the creators of a series of books about Farmer Brown and the antics of the animals that live on his farm. The first book, “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” was a New York Times bestseller. A duck is at the center of the books’ plots, just as he is in this week’s book.
I may have reviewed “Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat” in a previous column, but since it is a popular book with children, it bears repeating. Young readers enjoy the colorful, funny illustrations and the rollicking narrative that includes lots of “crunch, crunch, crunching;” “creak, creak, creaking,” and “tap, tap, tapping.”
As the story begins, Farmer Brown is sitting on a large Jack-o-lantern with a frustrated look on his face. Some chickens are suspiciously eyeing candy corn that has been scattered around on the ground. Farmer Brown is grumpy, because he doesn’t like Halloween.
That night, the farmer puts a bowl of candy on the porch, pins a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, draws the shades, and locks up the house.
Meanwhile, a Halloween party is getting underway in the barn. The last of the black bat, spider, and cat decorations are being hung by a pig standing on a ladder. Duck is passing out black hats, and a tub has been filled with apples for bobbing. A cow looks a little startled as she stands there in her skeleton costume. (She also looks a little ridiculous.)
Outside, some mice, dressed in princess outfits, scurry across a field of dried leaves, making “crunch, crunch, crunching” sounds. Some cats with bat wings are “tap, tap, tapping” at the barn window so the cows will let them in.
Inside his house, the farmer hears all the Halloween night sounds. He peeks through his window and notices a dark creature standing beneath the trees. Farmer Brown has had it. He runs to his bedroom, puts on his pajamas, and crawls under — completely under — the covers. Then, there are more crunching, creaking, and tapping sounds — right outside the door. There’s even a “quack, quack, quackle” sound. Farmer Brown is in for a surprise.
“Click, Clack, Boo!” is a great book to share with your child on Halloween. The hardcover book costs $9.99, or you can find it at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2013).
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.