- Book Style: Storybook for kids
- Reading Level: 2 (Reading With Help due to: mid-range length and some difficult vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 12-15 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Cute as a button, simple as a…something
- Age Target: 2-8 Years of Age
- Author: Allison Holland
- Author’s Page: Allison Holland
- Book Purchase Page: Lulu – $15.72 USD today, $18.49 USD regular price
- Social Media Links: N/A
Raspberry Sassafras: I Am A Cow is the second installment in the fantastic Raspberry Sassafras series of books by Allison Holland. This book is another kids book that follows the life of Jane and Raspberry Sassafras. In case you missed our review of the first Raspberry Sassafras book, here it is.
In I Am a Cow, Raspberry and Jane’s story continues by giving your little ones an update on how they live in the big city. As far as I can tell, Raspberry eats grass all over the city as they travel to different parks and different venues. They also seem to have a penchant for flying (because Raspberry can fly, obviously) together.
One day, the two friends come across a dog park and Raspberry remembers her days on the farm where there were always puppies. She has fond memories and so instantly wants to go and play with all of the dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs all ignore her for being different and some of them are even afraid of her for the same reason. Jane and Raspberry go away sad and upset, but come back and Raspberry gives the speech of her (and quite frankly most US Presidents’) life. The magnificent speech teaches every dog and person around that being different isn’t a bad thing and they all immediately accept Raspberry in as their friend. Now, if you haven’t already picked up on the incredible message in this book, then stay tuned.
Everything from the idea of race, to the simple differences between children is touched on by this message. I love the fact that Allison (our author) has ensured that this theme is front and center and I think it’s so incredibly pertinent to our society today. Every one is different for some reason, and teaching children acceptance of these differences is so important. This book does that in spades, and it does it in a cute and fun way.
Now you can’t talk about this book without talking about the incredible speech that Raspberry makes. I kid you not that as a parent, you’ll be laughing your proverbial butt off. I can’t give you the entire speech without basically stealing from Allison Holland, but I will give you this: the speech touches on fur, frolicking, wagging, poop, tickling, and crying in about 3 sentences. It’s an incredible speech and I’m sure that Donald Trump is going to steal it.
Finally, I think it’s important to mention that the story is simply a happy one. It’s just a pleasant story to read with your child, and my little guy loved every minute of it. Our author has a way of saying things that’s so simple yet colorful, and it just seems to resonate with my guy. I also have found myself smiling more than a few times and I think that’s an incredible feat.
The illustrations follow the same path as the first book in the series, and so my comments really haven’t changed. What I did find is that our author has improved on her illustrations in this second book.
While they’re still very simple, incredibly cute, and full of fun colors, there’s also an evolution in the characters. I think the puppies are especially well drawn. In fact, they remind me of some of the dogs in Clifford The Big Red Dog. Their faces tell quite a bit of the character behind them and there are some details that add character. Have a look below at the picture and focus on the top two dogs. Yes, they’re simple and cute, but they also have a personality different than “dog”.
Finally, I love the way that Raspberry is drawn in this book. There’s no doubt in my mind that this cow has a lot of spunk. She’s full of personality and I can see a bit of an evolution of her character from the illustrations. She shows many more emotions and it tells more of a story about who Raspberry is.
If you read our last review of Raspberry Sassafras, you’ll remember this picture:
If you didn’t read the last review, you’re now laughing and that’s the point. I have to say that I’ve been lucky to have met Allison Holland. She’s a unique person with a great take on the world. I think her perspectives make her a great teacher and that’s come out in the first two books. Her positive outlook on life comes through in spades in every conversation we have. She’s just pleasant, and an excellent banjo player.
What’s more, she’s simply fun. She’s fun, silly, and more than a bit of a joker. Again, this is a quality that shows in her books and I love that she’s true to herself with her books. Somehow, she’s taken her personality and shoved it into her books here.
Sorry everyone, I have to stop the review here for a second…Allison, I am not calling you a cow!
In the end, this is another fantastic book in the Raspberry Sassafras series. I love that you can now follow Jane and Raspberry on their adventures in two books, and this book is even better than the first. The messaging that Allison Holland has embedded in I Am A Cow is extremely important for children. What’s more, the illustrations are cute and your little one will immediately identify with the story as a result. Raspberry and Jane are great characters that have evolved and become a little more complex as well. For $15.72 USD (sale price), this is a steal of a deal that you should go and pick up right now!
Until next time, Smash, Crash, and Learn!