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Written by David LaRochelle
Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Bloomsbury, 2013
Picture Book, 32 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8027-3409-9
Board Book ISBN: 978-0-8027-3802-8
Ages 1-8
Scroll to the bottom for activity sheets 

Awards & Good Things

  • Minnesota Book Award!
  • American Library Association Notable Book
  • Once Upon A Reader Inaugural Selection
  • CLEL Bell Picture Book Award for Early Literacy
  • BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Star of the North Picture Book Award Winner
  • Volunteer State Book Award nominee
  • Missouri Building Block Award nominee
  • 2014 Coveted Robbie Award, Picture Book Honor
  • Amazon Best Book

Book Description

When Cow gets her hooves on the farmer’s car, she takes it for a wild ride through the country. Moooo! But a bump in the road brings this joyride to a troublesome end. Using just one word (well, maybe two), this imaginative picture book will have readers laughing one moment and on the edge of their seats the next, as it captures the highs and lows of a mischievous cow’s exciting day.

Look Inside

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ALA Notable Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection


“There are only a handful of words in this book; the most important one is ‘Moo.’ Punctuation, repetition, and rhythm give it multiple meanings as readers turn the pages, which are joyfully illustrated with splashy gouache primary colors. It is hard to imagine a more expressive cow than this title’s cartoon bovine. Children will laugh at the use of type and the artful arrangement of letters to convey action and sound. For many children, this book will be their first introduction to punctuation. This book is bold, original, and funny, and should be part of every picture-book collection.

“In this lively picture book limited almost entirely to a single word, an adventurous cow takes the farmer’s shiny red car for a joyride. Wohnoutka’s gouache illustrations have group viewing in mind, with every scene a full-spread, full-bleed streamlined image that possesses the subject focus and simple backdrops of old-school animation. Kids could also read this independently with only a quick acquaintance, and it would offer a great opportunity for energetic group mooing in storytime.”

“Wohnoutka’s cheery, cartoonish gouache pictures deliver the action accessibly enough for toddlers to enjoy, while new readers will ace the simple text and get the broad jokes. Good barnyard fun.

Kirkus Reviews

“Everyone secretly wants a sharp red sports car to drive around—including, apparently, one otherwise unassuming dairy cow. The cow’s one-word vocabulary is a great comic device, but Wohnoutka produces plenty of laughs, too, with big, bold graphics and comic book–style exclamations that even kids in the back row can see. An utterly fun moo-aloud.

Publishers Weekly

“The entire text of this energetic and humorously anthropomorphic tale is composed of variations on the titular Moo. Wohnoutka’s brightly toned cartoon illustrations provide a huge variety of perspectives but keep the cow well centered and ever on the go. The final verbal joke will tickle little readers. This is a delightful visual adventure.


“Narrated almost solely by the use of a single word—“Moo!”—this offers hilarious readaloud potential in its surprising ability to capture sentiment through the many possibilities of “moo.” The thickly lined gouache illustrations are bright and clear with sharp focus on the wide-eyed cow and expressive people against simple backgrounds, making them perfect for sharing with an audience. Sunny colors and chunky textures add to a silly adventure that’s sure to captivate kids in its understated hilarity.”

The Center for Children’s Books

“Nonreaders will delight in “reading” this on their own.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A wonderfully funny story, perfect for reading aloud. Make sure you read the author and illustrator biographies on the back flap for more ‘moo’ fun.”

Children’s Literature

“A cow takes the farmer’s old red car for a joyride, with hilarious and bumbly results. Boldly illustrated spreads, mostly containing the word moo, make this visual tale one even toddlers will enjoy.”

Book Links

“It’s rare that you find a picture book where the children’s librarians reading the book for the first time start laughing out loud but that’s what you get with MOO. Practically wordless, entirely hilarious.

—Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library

Video: Creating Moo!

Video: Moo! The Moo-vie

Downloadable Activity Sheets