Thursday, January 24, 2008
Dadblamed Union Army Cow
Fletcher, Susan. 2007. DADBLAMED UNION ARMY COW. Ill. by Kimberly Bulcken Root. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 076362263X [Suggested Grade Levels K-4]
The lively text of this historical picture book recounts the true Civil War tale of a man who enlists in the Union Army, and his cow insists on following him. The language is catchy and musical, with a repeated refrain incorporating the title, the “dadblamed union army cow” which kids are sure to enjoy repeating endlessly. At first the cow is a nuisance, but it’s not surprising when her milk, flicking tail, and bodily warmth comes in handy. The illustrations are helpful for understanding the story’s time and place, and they also add to the sprightly telling of the story, full of detail and action. This is an excellent example of a picture book that captures a moment in history in a way that children can understand, without sugarcoating the difficult details that are also necessary.
This book would lend itself to a readers theater performance with roles for a protagonist, a narrator, and of course, a cow. Or children may simply enjoy joining in on the repeated refrains during a read aloud.
Other historical picture books:
Hesse, Karen. THE CATS IN KRASINSKI SQUARE. ISBN 0439435404
Polacco, Patricia. PINK AND SAY. ISBN 0399226710
Weatherford, Carole Boston. FREEDOM IN THE MENU,THE GREENSBORO SIT-INS. ISBN 0142408948
Historical poetry for young readers:
Hopkins, Lee Bennett, comp. LIVES: POEMS ABOUT FAMOUS AMERICANS. ISBN 006027767X
Lewis, J. Patrick. THE BROTHERS' WAR: CIVIL WAR VOICES IN VERSE. ISBN 1426300360
Weatherford, Carole Boston. DEAR MR. ROSENWALD. ISBN 0439495229
By Sylvia M. Vardell