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Clancy the courageous cow
Transcript of Clancy the courageous cow
Clancy the courageous cow (Hume, 2007)
Clancy the courageous cow (Hume, 2007) is an uplifting and thought provoking children’s story book that, as is often the case with children’s literature, covers far more sophisticated themes than the cover implies. Hume (2007) tells the story of Clancy the cow and the measures he goes to in order to fit in, to look and feel like everyone else. Clancy the courageous cow (Hume, 2007) contains a wide range of language and literature features that make it an engaging and educational book.
Right from the beginning Hume (2007) uses alliteration in the title of the book with the repeated ‘C’ sound, Clancy the courageous cow (Hume, 2007). Alliteration is also used throughout the book when calling the cows ‘big and bossy’. The use of alliteration emphasises certain words to enhance linguistic awareness and memorability. Alliteration, according to Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl & Holliday (2010) also assists children to develop phonemic awareness and is particularly important in early years in gaining spelling skills.
Personification is also used to great effect throughout the story. Hume (2007) describes Clancy as having human like qualities. Examples from the story include, Clancy having a family, competing in a wrestling competition, using everyday human items, speaking English and falling in love. Personification connects the reader, making descriptions of non-human entities more vivid and can help the reader understand, sympathise and react emotionally to non-human characters (Authors Craft, n.d.). Focusing on everyday human situations allows children to connect and emphasise, creating a deeper understanding of the storyline.
Hume (2007) uses a broad range of words which are used effectively to connect, enlighten and entertain young readers. He chooses his words deliberately and these are designed to attract children’s attention and allow them to increase their vocabulary and language skills. Examples found in the story include pasture, outcast, grazing, vicious and manoeuvres. Hume (2007) also uses made-up-words for the cow wrestling competition manoeuvres such as ‘helicowpter’, ‘hindquarter drop and ‘cud cruncher’. These comic touches lighten up a rather deep message and create opportunity for young readers to experience language experimentation.
The sentence structure is simple and easy to follow, allowing literacy skills to be developed without compromising the plot. Hume (2007) includes an array of action verbs, for example sprinkled, rolled, bossed and painted. Each verb highlights a specific action, allowing the reader to vividly picture what each character is doing (Using Active Verbs, n.d.). The use of proper nouns ‘Cow Wrestling Contest’ demonstrates this linguistic structure. Adjectives and modifiers are cleverly included to expand and enhance the basic sentence, promoting a deeper understanding. Extracts from the story include, ‘stormy winter’s day’ and ‘beautiful summers day’.
Incorporating a subliminal message is a powerful way to address issues of prejudice, acceptance, confidence and forgiveness. The story effectively uses humour to showcase these themes. The captivating and bold illustrations and the choice of language features complement each other, allowing a wide audience to thoroughly enjoy this children’s book on many different levels.
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (n.d). The Australian curriculum: Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Glossary?a=E&t=language%20features
Author’s Craft. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://udleditions.cast.org
Hulme, L. (2007). Clancy the courageous cow. Parkside, SA: Omnibus Books.
Using active verbs. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ems.psu.edu/~schall/Verbs.html
Winch, G., Ross Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010). Literacy:
Reading, writing and children’s literature (4th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Oxford University Press.
The illustrations in Clancy the courageous cow (Hume, 2007) are colourful, childlike and compliment the tale perfectly. The author has used the pages fully to engage the reader and provide a visual journey. The use of stark white pages is enhances the colour and outline of the cows. An example that best illustrates this is the cow wrestling contest scenes. The river illustration is powerful as it provides a visual representation of the divide between Clancy and the other cows.
Activity retrieved from www.thelittlebigbookcub.com.au
After reading the story students will be given an Art activity to go back to their desks and undertake themselves. They will be given two sheets of paper. One will be the paddock and one full of cut out cows. Students will colour in the paddock and the cows place them on the completed paddock. Students will be asked to colour the cows the same way from the story but instead of dividing the cows into two group they will spread all cows around the pasture. Students will be able to consider why they have been asked to do this and not separate the cows like in the story.