Today’s author featured on the Picture Book Month calendar is Karma Wilson. I’m trying to keep pace with the calendar and blog about either the person or the theme featured each day of this month on the calendar. Some days I might even be able to do both, although obviously I fell behind over the weekend! I’ll try to catch up by the end of the month.

Karma Wilson does brilliant, well-known work that quickly become staples in story times for a variety of themes. Everyone I’ve talked to seems to know about the Bear series and Little Pip, so I’m going to mention one of the newer books that I seem to turn to again and again, and if you’d like to leave your own favorite Karma Wilson book in the comments, feel free!

Title: The Cow Loves Cookies
Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Marcellus Hall
ISBN: 9781416942061
Pages: unnumbered (picture book)
Publisher/Date: Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, c2010.

I think it’s the quality of the rhymes that really stand out for me in this book. It’s a cumulative tale in the sense that each verse builds on the next. You start with just the horse, and then you have what the horse eats and the chickens eat, and so-on, building to a crescendo. And between each summary, you have the repeating refrain that “the Cow Loves Cookies!” It’s also a refreshing read because while the message stays the same (the horse eats hay, the dog gets bones, the pigs eat slop, etc.) the words and rhymes used do not, so readers don’t get bored by the repetition. There’s also a nice vocabulary lesson in some of the words, like “savors”.

Marcellus Hall does an equally good job at portraying the animals delight in their own food, with lip licking happening at almost every turn of the page. The jacket cover suggests this book for picky eaters, but I use this for farm story times constantly with great success. The pictures have just the right amount of detail to keep kids engaged without over whelming them. Use this book with kindergarten classes, and even some preschool classes will sit through the upbeat readings, and by the end they might just pitch in for the final “cow loves cookies” when they find out why that is true.