Just finished Moo with my class of fourth graders. I had started reading it by myself and then I landed this sweet teaching gig, so I figured I would read it with them as our read aloud. I am an ardent Creech fan and believed that most of these rural-living students would get the cow focus.
Boy, was I wrong! Most of them hadn't even spent time around a cow. And boy was I right! This book because a community builder in multiple ways, and we all, cow-schemas or not, found ways to enter the book, make sense of it, and connect it to our lives. The students loved it, I loved it, and I wonder what role it played in helping us grow readers in our class.
The main cow, Zora, is grumpy, stand-offish (can a cow be that?), and flat out stubborn at the start of the book. Like many characters, she changed over time but I won't tell you how. A brother and sister move with their parents out to farm-country Maine. Mom meets some rather stand-offish, grumpy woman at some medical office and offers her kids up to help with chores at the lady's farm. The chemistry between the kids and the lady repels each party, causing interesting conflicts, perspectives, and ironic moments. The ending is true Creech, and the story has some rich connections with her granddaughter.
This time it was not just me that loved a book---it was my 22 fourth graders as well!! Moo.