The Cow Said BOO! cover

By Lana Button & Alice Carter

The Cow Said BOO!

A stuffed-up cow, a rogue bedsheet, and a chantable silly refrain. A quintessential read-aloud for a lively story time. 

Poor cow woke up with such a bad cold that every “moo” comes out as “boo!” When she stumbles into a sheet hanging from the clothesline, her barnyard friends mistake her for a spooky ghost and run away. But the cow is able to bravely turn this misunderstanding to her advantage when a truly scary intruder arrives at the farm…

In The Cow Said BOO!, author Lana Button delivers a silly read-aloud for a not-so-spooky Halloween, or any time of year. Written in playful rhyme that will shine at an interactive story time, the text includes a repeated refrain that will have listeners chiming in with many an exuberant, “The cow said, BOO!” Watercolor illustrations by Alice Carter catch both the eye and the heart with their humor and energy. Closing scenes of the animal friends nursing the cow back to health bring a tender lull to the riotous story time—until a final twist dissolves the peace in giggles once again.

Available In


Ages 1-3
ISBN: 978-1-77278-216-5
List Price: $19.95 CAD / $17.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 10.00 x 10.00 inches / 25.4 x 25.4cm
Pages: 26

Publication date: September 14, 2021

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 34

Board book

Ages 1-3
ISBN: 978-1-77278-266-0
List Price: $14.95 CAD / $11.95 USD
Board book
Trim Size: 7.50 x 7.50 inches / 19.05 x 19.05cm
Pages: 26

Publication date: August 30, 2022

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 40

About this book

Awards and Honours

  • 2021 Parent Magazine Parents Approved Selection (Short-listed) (United States)
  • 2022 W. Cook Elementary Reader’s Choice Awards (Nominated) (Canada)
  • 2021 CBC Books "41 Canadian Picture books to watch for in fall 2021" (Short-listed) (Canada)
  • 2022 CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens (Commended) (Canada)


Praise for The Cow Said BOO!

2021 Parent Magazine Parents Approved Selection

2022 W. Cook Elementary Reader’s Choice Awards Nominee

2021 CBC Books “41 Canadian Picture books to watch for in fall 2021” Selection

2022 CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection

2023 TD Summer Reading Club Top Recommended Reads Selection 

2021 Open Book “Read Local – Ottawa” Selection

2022 The Children’s Book Council “September: Hot Off the Press” Feature

2022 Oakville News “Top 11 holiday reads for children & adults” Feature

“Button’s rhyming text hits at just the right pace, encouraging participation from little readers. Kids will love being in on the joke that the cow isn’t really a ghost…An infectious seasonal read-aloud.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The rhyming text and repeated refrain are sure to engage the smallest readers and listeners. Bright, energetic watercolors show all the action and some of the funny contrasts in the story. A terrific story time read-aloud, this works for Halloween events or any time of year.”—School Library Journal

“This book will have youngsters asking for it to be read over and over, but it’s so much fun, adults won’t mind at all.”—Seattle Book Review

“Rhyming text and a repeated refrain swoop kids into the silly antics. The kindness that the cow receives from her pals and how she pays it forward is the real treat.”—Parents Magazine

“This is a cute story for teaching hygiene to little ones. The plentiful pumpkins and autumn leaves make this a good choice for a not-so-scary Halloween read aloud.”—Youth Services Book Review

“A good storytime choice for very young ones at Halloween and/or Autumn time. The rhyming text and repeated refrain are engaging.”—Katrina Yurenka, Youth Services Book Review

“[A] fun farm romp when poor cow catches a cold and can’t say ‘Moo!’ but says ‘Boo!’ instead… A nonfiction back page talks about washing hands to prevent colds.”—The International Educator

Silly and cute, THE COW SAID BOO! is a light-hearted picture book with Halloween flair.”—YA Books Central

This simple story begs to be read aloud with gusto and presents a great opportunity for teachers and parents to encourage active participation from youthful listeners.”—CM Magazine

“This boisterously fun picture book offers plenty of wordplay and a healthy dose of humor… Perfect for reading aloud, there are many opportunities for active participation, including a review of handwashing hygiene on the endpapers…”—Canadian Children’s Book Centre

“Lana Button gives us a story in which a difficulty becomes a blessing, reminding young readers that face-value is just that.”—CanLit for Little Canadians

“[T]he perfect silly-fun for Halloween!”—@jmebills

“This not so spooky tale makes for a fun festive read.”—Little Bookworm Club

“Lana Button has masterfully created a funny, fall story perfect for our youngest readers. Preschoolers will LOVE this story and teachers and ECEs will have a blast reading it.”—Storytime with Stephanie

“I love the story & how the end papers help kids “scare away colds” with the cutest hand-washing instructions ever… A perfect read-aloud, but probably not at bedtime because there will be far too much giggling!”—Sheryl Books

“This playful picture book tells a story of the day a cow had a cold so bad that her “moo” came out as “boo.””—The Kid Lit Mama

“[E]nergetic and fun, with a delightful refrain (perfect for chanting)…bustling, sweet illustrations that make the picture book terrific read aloud material. Perfect for Halloween or seasonal fall reading, or for readers looking for a giggly, endearing and rhyming story…”—Fab Book Reviews

“The illustrations really bring the story to life and show the personalities of the animals. A fun and lighthearted read about a group of friends.”—Canadian Bookworm

“A sweet story complete with a twist ending that will encourage all readers to wash hands and work to avoid spreading germs.⁠”—Charlotte Offsay (Instagram)

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Additional Resources

Teaching Guide

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