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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Milking Memories

Growing up in Wisconsin, we often visited my parents' friends' farm. If we ever wanted to do anything with them, milking time kept us on a schedule. We needed to be at the farm for night-time milking. I spent many hours in that barn, and all the memories I have of those times came back to me as I read Phyllis Alsdurf's new book It's Milking Time.

The cows' hooves clicked on the bar floor as they made their way to their stanchions. The sounds of the milking machines created a rhythm with the cows' cud-chewing noises. The calves' tongues felt rough against my hands, and their strong mouths pulled the milk bottles - and me! - closer to their pens. Straw crunched underfoot. Cats and flies meowed and buzzed around me.

Phyllis creates such a warm tone in this wonderfully told story about the routines of milking time. Her narrator's concern for the cows and for her father illuminate a life of hard work and well-deserved rest.

The end papers look soft enough to stroke!


  1. I enjoy the way that you relate personal experience to the content of a book you are sharing or critiquing.

  2. there can never be enough thanks extended to those who grow the food we eat.

  3. Background knowledge is the key to comprehension, as you know, Kate. I love sharing stories behind stories with young readers.

    Agreed, Brattcat. I think of your Strolling of the Heifers event as well.

  4. Makes me think of Valerie Worth's poem about cows: "Her hooves / Thump / Like dropped / Rocks."

  5. And Joyce, that reminds me of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem about the cow, standing outside in all sorts of weather.

    I'm definitely going to have to check this book out...and make sure Mike Wohnoutka sees it too! Moo!