In The Cow’s Backyard

In The Cow’s Backyard
La hamaca de la vaca


“There’s always room for one more” is the message of this delightful cumulative tale.

One by one, many animals come to the cow’s backyard. Each one is greeted by the ant, who is enjoying the shade laying on the hammock in the cow’s backyard. Each accepts the ant’s invitation to lay on the hammock. And all goes well until the arrival of mother elephant. What is the ant to do now? If the elephant climbs on the hammock, it will surely break…

This story proves that “When there is goodwill / there’s always a way / for one more friend / to join in and play!”

One of the beloved titles of the series Stories the Year ‘Round, or in Spanish, Cuentos para todo el año. The complete stories of the series are:

A Rose with Wings
A Surprise for Mother Rabbit
The Empty Piñata

Rosa alada
La sorpresa de Mamá Coneja
La piñata vacía

How the Rainbow Came to Be
After the Storm
In the Cow’s Backyard

Cómo nació el arco iris
Después de la tormenta
La hamaca de la vaca

The Kite
What Are Ghosts Afraid Of?
“Turkey for Thanksgiving?” “No, Thanks!”

El papalote
El susto de los fantasmas
–¿Pavo para la Cena de Gracias? –No, gracias.

The Golden Cage
I Don’t Want to Melt
It Wasn’t Me

La jaula dorada
¡No quiero derretirme!
No fui yo


There is a special value to listening to a books read by the author. Such recordings show just where the author wishes to convey feelings and emotions, emphasis and suspense. When the text is put to music it acquires additional interest for children.

I particularly like to read aloud and to record my readings so, for me, it was particularly joyful to record these twelve stories in English and Spanish.

The stories can be found in individual cassettes in English and Spanish, one for each book of the series, or in CDs in English and Spanish versions. Each of the CDs contains the twelve stories of the series.

A Special Bonus

Because these stories have been so beloved by children, I conceived the idea of given them an extra dimension. I have rewritten the 12 stories in Spanish in verse format. And Suni Paz, with her incomparable creativity, has put them to music. So the Spanish cassettes and CD contain not only the story as published in the book told by me, but also the story retold in verse form and sang by Suni.


The twelve books of this series are some of my best well known books among bilingual teachers and their students. They are also very dear to my heart since the inspiration for most of them comes from my own children’s childhood.

The major source of inspiration for this book comes from my own extended family where there has always been room for one more.

We have enjoyed many festivities, birthdays, weddings, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas, in which everyone has felt free not only to come but to bring along friends.

I dedicated the book to my cousins Virginia de Miranda and Peque Balbona because their home was always open to the large family for any occasion.

While this is the inspiration behind the essence of the book, at a more immediate level I love sleeping on hammocks. And, finally, as in many of my books and poems the birth of the book was determined by a phrase that appeared in my mind, “la hamaca de la vaca,” it sounded so wonderful I needed to find a story for it!


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