Over the years, I’ve owned and read a huge number of children’s books written and/or illustrated by the prolific writer Nick Sharratt. All of his work seems to share the theme of being bright, bold and, most importantly, appealing to young children. ‘Moo Cow, Kung Fu Cow’ is certainly no exception. I actually picked up a paperback copy of this book from a Scholastic book sale for just £1 but it is worth every penny of its official cover price.
This book is along similar lines to many other titles by Nick Sharratt, such as Octopus Socktopus and Elephant Wellyphant, featuring many different cows in different guises, complete with clever puns and interactive features.
The humour within the story manages to be both childish and simple whilst also being quite clever, appealing to both pre-schoolers and the adult reader. My son loves the ‘worried green and blue cow’, when is becomes clear that his worry was around needing the toilet. There is nothing quite as amusing as a steaming pile of poo to appeal to a potty training toddler! Likewise, some of the vocabulary is likely to go way over the heads of toddlers (who are not likely to be familiar with ‘Timbuktoo’ or ‘Hullabaloo’, for example) but the clever use of rhyme and rhythm makes this a pleasure to read aloud and encourages young ones to pick up the pattern of the words and ‘read along’.
I purchased this when my youngest son was eighteen months old and well under the age to be trusted with a book full of flaps and pull out tabs such as this. Needless to say, he was exactly the age to be fascinated by flaps and pull out tabs and absolutely adored this book from the outset.
We have owned this book for over three years now and it is still a much loved story within our picture book collection, albeit somewhat worse for wear. The over eager scrutiny of an interested toddler has resulted in the PeekaBoo cow now being noticeable by his absence. The final pop out section is also suffering a few rips and tears but, surprisingly, the majority of the story has survived intact with the lift-up flaps proving to be surprisingly resilient.
This is a fantastic, witty and entertaining children’s book. Its interactive elements offer lots of appeal to youngsters and the clever puns make sharing this book a pleasure for adults too. Whilst some of the pop-up and pull-up sections are liable to be damaged by an enthusiastic young reader that is certainly no reason to avoid buying a copy. I would certainly recommend this one for pre-school children and this is one story that I will be sorry to see my son outgrow.