- Book Style: Cow story 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: Oh man is that cow cute
- Age Target: 2-8 Years of Age
- Author: Allison Holland
- Author’s Page: Allison Holland
- Book Purchase Page: Lulu – $18.49 USD – Paperback and Amazon – $21.49 USD – Paperback
- Social Media Links: N/A
Raspberry Sassafras: The Famous Flying Cow is the third book in what has quickly become one of my favorite children’s series. The previous two books by Allison Holland have been reviewed by us here at Kids Fun Channel and we loved them so much that we had to get on to the third as fast as possible. Here are those two other reviews:
The previous two installments of the series focus on explaining Raspberry (the cow), and her best friend Jane. They explain what living in the big city is like for the old country cow, and how she copes with big city life. For the most part, the two are inseparable and love their life. That’s where The Famous Flying Cow comes in, as it’s a story about the difficulties that surround Jane and Raspberry. See (if you’ve read the first two books), you know that Raspberry can fly and she can talk. That’s a secret that Raspberry has kept from everyone except Jane and her family.
In this book, Raspberry and Jane struggle with that secret. In fact, when a fire breaks out in an apartment building, Raspberry has to forego her secret and fly up to save family after family from the fire. This of course brings a lot of media and public attention. There are offers to purchase Raspberry, there are offers to do T.V. shows, and there are offers to appear in fancy magazines. All of which are new experiences for Jane and Raspberry. In the end, your child will learn a couple of great moral lessons that our author slips in to the book.
Speaking of moral lessons, I love what Allison Holland has done here. She’s ensured that your little one is going to learn all kinds of lessons in the book. I counted 8 different opportunities for kids to learn a positive behavior, attribute, or attitude within this story’s pages. Here’s a few:
- It’s better to be yourself than to hide who you are
- Friends and family will stick by you through thick and thin
- Celebrities are regular cows (and sometimes people) too
- People will sometimes cry if you do something nice for them and that’s normal
- People who would normally be afraid of a flying cow won’t be if you’re offering them a ride out of a flaming apartment building
As I said above, there are a lot of lessons in this book and the best part is you’re not hit over the head with them. They’re not simply stated and left for you the parent to explain. Instead, they’re built into the story and impart an emotion in your child. That’s the ultimate way to teach…to impart emotion.
The other thing I love about this book (and Allison’s books in general) is that they’re not simply written for children. That’s not to say they aren’t written for kids, because they are. It’s just that I end up smiling and laughing every single time I read this book. For example, the last bullet in the list above had me burst out laughing when I read it. It’s just something in the way Allison writes her stories that appeals to both the young and the old(er). I think it’s the way she is so matter of fact with her storytelling. I mean, who wouldn’t be afraid of a flying cow? No one, that’s who. That is, unless you were being saved by one while stuck in a flaming building.
The last time I reviewed one of this author’s books, I called the illustrations cute, simple, and fun. That’s the hallmark of this series in general, and it continues in The Famous Flying Cow.
Raspberry and Jane are as cute as ever. What they’re doing in this book is more complex (than the other two) and as such, the illustrations have become more complex. I love the scenes surrounding the fire because we see Raspberry get progressively dirtier as she saves the different families. We also see the determination of Jane and Raspberry to be good people (or cows). We see that determination through the expressions on Jane, which is amazing to say when you’re looking at relatively simple illustrations.
Which brings me to what I like best about the illustrations. See, when I read these books to my little guy, he is immediately interested. He consistently tells me what the characters are thinking and/or feeling, and that’s because he can immediately identify the emotions. He also consistently tells me that he thinks something is funny (like a cow flying next to geese). What’s great about that is I know he’s engaged and that engagement is coming from the illustrations just as much as it’s coming from the story.
Now I’ve spent a couple of reviews talking about Allison Holland. The honest truth is I’ve had a pretty good chance to get to know her and I don’t think I could say enough about her. I will plainly tell you that she’s the kind of person you want teaching your children about the world.
One of the reasons I say this is because she’s very self-aware. She’s very sure of who she is and I think that comes through in her books. She has a style that’s all her own and as such her books make me feel like I’m reading a Dr. Seuss book for the first time. It’s unique, it marches to its own beat, and it’s truly Allison.
Another one of the reasons I say that Allison Holland is a great teacher for children is simply because she has a sense of humor. She lightens every one of her stories with funny descriptions and come to think of it, she lightens every conversation we have with humor. I think it’s a great way to teach kids about the world because there are a lot of topics in this world that can be very serious and/or dark. If we get a chance to associate an otherwise serious topic with something funny or happy, I think we should do it.
Should I even bother answering? The verdict is pretty obvious. I’m going to tell you to go buy this kids cow book. In fact, I’m going to tell you to buy all three books and read the series with your children. If you’re one of those Amazon folks (I am), then I totally understand you wanting to purchase there. If you’re one of those cheaper folks, then the books can be bought for $3 less on average from lulu.com. Regardless, this is a classic kids series about a wonderful cow named Raspberry Sassafras and her best friend Jane. I only hope we see more books from this author!
Until next time, Smash, Crash, and Learn!