Age Range: 3 to 6
This fun, festive rhyming story about The Happy Hooves gang includes snow, beautifully decorated trees, snazzy Christmas jumpers and a catchy, repetitive refrain.
The Story: It’s Christmas Eve and Cow’s barn is ready for Santa’s visit but she is dismayed to find that the Happy Hooves gang are all napping. Cow urges everybody to clean up before Santa arrives but after Pig has cleaned his sty he realises that he doesn’t have a chimney. Sheep, Donkey and Foal also clean up but they don’t have chimneys either! When they explain their problem to Cow she assures them that Santa will deliver presents wherever they live. The animals then join Cow in her barn to celebrate Christmas together.
Happy Hooves Oh! Oh! Oh! is a fun story which shows the farmyard animals cleaning up in preparation for Santa’s visit. Tidying up is made fun and the animals find that they have several uninvited visitors in their homes as well as floors that need sweeping and a strange smell that needs locating! The repetitive refrain adds to the urgency of the task and my daughter loves to join in with the ‘Oh! Oh! Oh! He must be near!’. I find the rhyming text bouncy and easy to read and the font is great for a beginner reader, I also like the way that some words are emphasised in bold letters.
Rebecca Elliott’s illustrations are bold, brightly coloured and look like a collage with their layered effects. There are lots of festive, humorous details in the pictures. We love Cow’s Christmas jumper and Santa hat, the other animals put their Santa hats on once they have finished their cleaning, and the final spread shows everybody sitting by a roaring fire wearing matching festive jumpers. The animals’ actions and expressions are brilliant at showing their emotions. They wonderfully portray the animals’ disappointment when they realise that they don’t have chimneys and show their happiness when they accept Cow’s invitation. Various other animals and bugs also appear throughout the story, my daughter loves the sleepy owl and the miserable expression on the frog’s face makes me laugh!
Happy Hooves Oh! Oh! Oh! is a fun and original story which ultimately reassures children that Santa delivers wherever you live. Thank you to publisher, Fat Fox Books, for sending us a review copy. We’ve read it countless times since we’ve received it, it’s really fun to read out loud.