Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? – make silly sounds and practice phonemes

th-1Mr. Brown’s enthusiasm for making silly sounds inspires this infectious literacy lesson for beginning readers.

Bibliographic Info:  Dr. Seuss Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises  Random House (1970) 24pp  Formats: Hardcover ISBN 978-0679882824 $4.99, Paperback, CD, Board Book, Kindle, iBook, App  Interest Level: K-2  Reading Level Equiva9780394806228_xlglent: 2.9   Genre: Comedy and Humor, Rhyming Story   Themes:  Animal Sounds, Phonics, Summarizing, Culture and Diversity

Summary:  In Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, Dr. Seuss cultivates children’s imaginations and reading skills with curious characters and zany verses.


StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1 Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on April 9th, 2015.  This material meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and AppWOW collections.

Review:  Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? is a vocal workout for beginning readers who are learning phonemes.  This phonemic practice lesson comes as a delightfully packaged and highly engaging storybook that puts kid’s love of making animal sounds to useful purpose.  It’s pure Dr. Seuss genius.  Who can resist wanting to read Dr. Seuss’s fun and silly words and pictures.  The app format stands out as the superior literacy lesson tool for storytime presenters and teachers. Use the app in libraries and classrooms (with a large screen) so you may point to the phonemes as children pronounce them.  Here is an example where it makes sense to use the digital format of an existing classic literacy tool.

Storytime:  Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? works well as a read aloud during storytime, especially in its app format.  During both one-on-one and group storytimes, the book becomes a challenging echo game that will expand children’s vocal abilities while entertaining.  

Early Childhood Education and Development:  

1.  Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? provides young children with the opportunity to use their SIx Pre-Reading Skills and begin to read on their own. Here are these six skills:

  • Knowing how to handle a book/eBook/app (print awareness)
  • Being interested in and enjoying books (print motivation)
  • Knowing the names of things (vocabulary)
  • Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing them (letter knowledge)
  • Being able to hear and play with smaller sounds in words (phonological awareness)
  • Being able to describe things and events, being able to tell stories (narrative skills)

2. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? provides parents with opportunities to utilize the following Early Literacy-Building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Talking with kids and telling them stories helps them learn to express themselves and conversations.
  • Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (Every Child Ready to Read).
  • Playing is a primary way in which children learn language (and this book is very playful).

3. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? cultivates the following Kindergarten Readiness skills (see full checklist here).  Children well-prepared for kindergarten are able to:

  • Recognize rhyming sounds
  • Speak understandably
  • Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Identify the beginning sound in some words
  • Identify alphabet letters
  • Recognize some common sight words

4. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? supports the following Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Add information-focused content and materials that broaden knowledge of the world.
  • Integrate new media materials and technology in classroom settings. Cultivate media literacy behaviors through modeling.
  • Increase focus on children’s comprehension through dialogic reading. Ask questions before, during and after telling stories.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

5. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? supports young children’s “emerging mental abilities” by providing opportunities for “key experiences” that strengthen and broaden these abilities (see full list here):

  • Using Language (describing events, objects and relations verbally)
  • Representing (relating pictures to real places and things)

Read-alikes:  Dr. Seuss’s ABC, Fox in Socks

Links:  Dr. Seuss website, Scholastic, Amazon  

Awards: Dr. Seuss’s long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates.

Other Reviews:  Common Sense Media, Goodreads

I chose to review this book for my database because my students love making animal sounds and I want to bring more of that fun to storytime.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!