What do you get when you cross the farmyard fun of Click Clack Moo with the important life lessons of Elmer? The answer is this delightful children’s picture book with whimsical characters that will capture your child’s imagination.
When the cow goes on vacation, the pig sees his chance to fill in as the center of the farm, leaving behind his life of mud and slop. Soon many of the other animals follow suit, leaping at the chance to change their roles as well. Each character gets to imagine himself as the best of both worlds. Of course, not everything goes as planned…
Available in print and Kindle versions. For ages 2 through 8. Part of the Kindle Unlimited program.
Targeted Age Group:: 2 to 7
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve always enjoyed making gifts for friends and family. One year, many of the important women in my life had their first child. Since they were spread out over the year, I was able to make hand-made gifts for each one. Then as Christmas approached, I knew it would be difficult to make gifts for all of them. So I got the idea to write and illustrate a book. I could spend all the time I wanted on the one book, and then make copies for everyone. I did some brainstorming, came up with the idea for the book, and did a few sketches. (I still have my original turtle-camel sketch.) I loved the idea, but decided I couldn’t pull it off in time for Christmas. I did something simpler for that year, but promised myself that I would still make this book — next year. And then the next year. And then the next year. Finally it hit me that the oldest of these kids was about to get too old for the book. That sprung me into action, and I finally finished the book — seven years later. At the encouragement (and loving nagging of my sister), I finally self-published the book and got it on Amazon. 11 years in the making.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters are the backbone of the book. When the cow goes on vacation, the pig sees himself as a cow. Then the penguin things life would be better as the pig. And so on. I made a list of animals that have unique qualities in terms of physical attributes, habits, or environment. Then I asked myself what they might like about a different animal’s characteristics. So in this book, the penguin is tired of being all prim and proper in his tuxedo and would enjoy the chance to just roll around freely in the mud like the pig. Then I was able to map out a string of “swaps” that would make each animal happier — or so they thought. From there, I sketched out what the transformed animal might look like. For example, when the pig became the cow, I had to decide if it would have the pig shape or the cow shape; the pig colors or the cow colors. We have a cow body with cow spots, but they are pink on pink instead of black on white. The face has cow ears and hair but a pig nose. Finally, I had to decide what the animal might not like about the new experience. For example, the pig was used to doing whatever it wanted off in its pen. Once it was the cow, it had to get up early every morning. I mapped out quite a few character combinations and picked my favorite four. (Cow-pig, pig-penguin, penguin-camel, and camel-turtle) I have a few extra pairings left over–perhaps for the next book!
If I were a cow,
I could finally stand tall.
I’d have my own bed
In my very own stall.
I wouldn’t have to worry
About the way that I smell.
I’d be the center of the farm
And even wear the bell.
By day, Diane Wright works in corporate training. But on the weekends, she enjoys tapping into her graphic design background with creative projects. If I Were a Cow is the result of one such project. When many of her close friends and relatives had babies the same year, she had trouble keeping up with hand-made gifts. So she created a story that she could give to all of them at once. In addition to If I Were a Cow, she also publishes the PictureBookz series with her father, David Wright. PictureBookz are e-books for kids full of animal photos, many of which teach early learning skills such as counting and reading.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy If I Were a Cow Print Edition at Amazon
Link to Buy If I Were a Cow Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy If I Were a Cow On Amazon