Hume, L. (2006). Clancy the courageous cow. Sydney: Scholastic.
This book was written and illustrated by a 12 year-old Australian lad. His teacher gave him 9 out of 10 for the project. Clancy possibly should have been called a bull, but it would have messed with the alliteration.
This book deals with difference, discrimination, poverty, the cycle of disadvantage, conflict, negotiation, reconciliation, as a cow and a bull from opposite herds fall in love. It’s absolutely wonderful.
The playgroup kids were very interested to hear the story of the author Lachie Hume, and enjoyed the story. I particularly told the children about Lachie as not only did he do a fantastic job with this storybook, but he went on to study agricultural science at university. Being in a disadvantaged area, community expectation of the children can be horrendously low. One day, when I was teaching Second Step in a year 3/4/5 class, I said to the students “when you all go to university …”. The students laughed at me, a parent in the classroom laughed at me, and the teacher laughed at me. I always communicate to the children I work with that they have the potential to succeed.
Although I haven’t read this book to my own kids for ages, my middle son referred to it the other night when we were talking about individual difference. He is very different to his brothers, and he said with a smile “I’m like Clancy”.
With charming illustrations and simple text this book is a great read aloud and a heart-warming story which communicates hope.